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General Editor: Clifford Leech 


The Spanish Tragcdic: 


Hicronimo is mad againe. 

Containing the lamentable end of DM Horaiio % and 
Btlimperu > wich jheputifull 

Ncwty cocrcftc^amcndcd^nnd enlarged with new 

Additions of the /*rf/0/tr;patt,and others, as 

it hath of late been diuers times aftcd. 

n . if LONDON, 

Printed by W. White, for [. White and T. Lana W 
indare to be fold at theit Shop ouet againft thc^ ' 
Sarazcmhcad without Newgate. 

Title page of 
the 1615 edition 

The Spanish Tragedy 







This edition first published 1959 

Introduction, Apparatus Criticus, etc. 
1959 Philip Edwards 

Printed in Great Britain by 
The Broadwater Press Ltd, Welwyn Garden City, Herts 

Catalogue No. 6i29/u 

General Editor's Preface 

The aim of this series is to apply to plays by Shakespeare's pre- 
decessors, contemporaries, and successors the methods that are 
now used in Shakespeare editing. It is indeed out of the success of 
the New Arden Shakespeare that the idea of the present series 
has emerged, and Professor Una Ellis-Fermor and Dr Harold F. 
Brooks have most generously given advice on its planning. 

There is neither the hope nor the intention of making each 
volume in the series conform in every particular to one pattern. 
Each author, each individual play, is likely to present special prob- 
lems of text, of density of collation and commentary, of critical 
and historical judgment. Moreover, any scholar engaged in the task 
of editing a sixteenth- or seventeenth-century play will recognize 
that wholly acceptable editorial principles are only gradually be- 
coming plain. There will, therefore, be no hesitation in modifying 
the practice of this series, either in the light of the peculiarities of 
any one play or in the light of growing editorial experience. Never- 
theless, in certain basic matters the plan of the series is likely to 
remain constant. 

The introductions will include discussions of the provenance of 
the text, the play's stage-history and reputation, its significance as 
a contribution to dramatic literature, and its place within the work 
of its author. The text will be based on a fresh examination of 
the early editions. Modern spelling will be used, and the original 
punctuation will be modified where it is likely to cause obscurity; 
editorial stage-directions will be enclosed in square brackets. 
The collation will aim at making clear the grounds for an editor's 
choice in every instance where the original or a frequently accepted 
modern reading has been departed from. The annotations will 
attempt to explain difficult passages and to provide such comments 
and illustrations of usage as the editor considers desirable. Each 



volume will include either a glossary or an index to annotations : it 
is the hope of the editors that in this way the series will ultimate- 
ly provide some assistance to lexicographers of sixteenth- and 
seventeenth-century English. 

But the series will be inadequately performing its task if it proves 
acceptable only to readers. The special needs of actors and pro- 
ducers will be borne in mind, particularly in the comments on 
staging and stage-history. Moreover, in one matter a rigorous uni- 
formity may be expected : no editorial indications of locality will be 
introduced into the scene-headings. This should emphasize the 
kind of staging for which the plays were originally intended, and 
may perhaps suggest the advantage of achieving in a modern 
theatre some approach to the fluidity of scene and the neutrality of 
acting-space that Shakespeare's fellows knew. In this connection, 
it will be observed that the indications of act- and scene-division, 
except where they derive from the copy-text, are given unobtru- 
sively in square brackets. 

A small innovation in line-numbering is being introduced. 
Stage-directions which occur on separate lines from the text are 
given the number of the immediately preceding line followed by a 
decimal point and I, 2, 3, etc. Thus the line 163.5 indicates the 
fifth line of a stage-direction following line 163 of the scene. At the 
beginning of a scene the lines of a stage-direction are numbered 
o.i, 0.2, etc. 

'The Revels' was a general name for entertainments at court in 
the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and it was from the 
Master of the Revels that a licence had to be obtained before any 
play could be performed in London. The plays to be included in 
this series therefore found their way to the Revels Office. For a body 
of dramatic literature that reached its fullest growth in the field of 
tragedy, the term 'Revels' may appear strange. But perhaps the 
actor at least will judge it fitting. 


Durham, 1958 






1. Authorship xvii 

2. Date xxi 

3. Text xxvii 

4. Sources xlviii 

5. Theme and Structure 1 

6. The Additions of 1602 Ixi 

7. Stage History Ixvi 




A. The Problem of Henslowe's Entries 137 

B. The Kid in JEsop' 139 
c. Kyd and Tamburlaine, Part 2 141 

D. Watson's Elegy on Walsingham 143 

E. Marston's Parodies of the 'Painter Scene* 145 

F. The King's Men and The Spanish Tragedy 146 




In the present edition, I have tried to give a reliable modernized 
text of The Spanish Tragedy and, in the Introduction and Com- 
mentary, I have done my best to solve the many problems posed by 
the play. Since it is impossible to perceive the movement of the 
original play in the expanded text of 1602, the 'Additions' are 
printed separately at the end of the main text. The Commentary is 
fuller than that of any previous edition, but I hope it will not be 
found burdened with unnecessary detail. The Introduction con- 
tains only light skirmishes with problems not central to the under- 
standing of the play, such as the 'UT-Hamle? and the authorship of 
the 'Additions'. The date, the text, the original shape of the play, 
and the author's attitude to revenge have needed so full a treatment 
that I have had room for much less than I would have wished to say 
about the language of the play. Wolfgang Clemen's recent book on 
the language of pre-Shakespearian tragedy has put the study of 
Kyd's rhetoric on to a new plane, and a detailed study of The 
Spanish Tragedy on Clemen's lines would be welcome indeed. 

I cannot here do more than record a general thanks to those who 
have answered queries and helped with problems during my pre- 
paration of this edition. But I wish to mention my particular grati- 
tude to Richard Hosley of the University of Missouri, whose advice 
and encouragement have been invaluable to me. I have been helped 
over many stiles by my colleagues E. G. Stanley and D. R. Dudley; 
I am also much in the General Editor's debt for the sharpness of his 
eye and the mildness of his manner. 


University of Birmingham. 



(excluding texts, for which see p. Ixix) 

Biesterfeldt P. W. Biesterfeldt, Die dramatische Technik 

Thomas Kyds. Studien zur inner en Struktur und 
szenischen Form des Elisdbethanischen Dramas. 
Gottingen, 1935; Halle (Saale), 1936. 

Boas Introduction to The Works of Thomas Kyd, 

edited by F. S. Boas. Oxford, 1901. 

Bowers F. T. Bowers, Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy, 

1587-1642. Princeton, 1940. 

Eliz. Stage E. K. Chambers, The Elizabethan Stage. 

4 vols. Oxford, 1923. 

Franz W. Franz, Die Sprache Shakespeares. Halle, 

Green H. Green, Shakespeare and the Emblem Writers. 

London, 1870. 

Greg, Bibl. E.P.D. W. W. Greg, A Bibliography of the English 
Printed Drama to the Restoration. 3 vols. Lon- 
don, 1939-57- 

Henslowe's Diary Henslowe y s Diary, edited by W. W. Greg. 
2 vols. London, 1904. 

Jonson, Works Ben Jonson, edited by C. H. Herford and P. 
andE. Simpson, n vols. Oxford, 1925-52. 

M.S.R. Malone Society Reprints. 

M SR (1592) Introduction to The Spanish Tragedy (1592}, 

edited by W. W. Greg and D. Nichol Smith. 
Malone Society Reprints, 1948 (1949). 



M SR (1602) Introduction to The Spanish Tragedy with 

Additions, 1602, edited by W. W. Greg in con- 
sultation with F. S. Boas. Malone Society 
Reprints, 1925. 

Nashe, Works The Works of Thomas Nashe, edited by R. B. 
McKerrow. 5 vols. London, 1904-10. 

O.E.D. Oxford English Dictionary. 

Sarrazin G. Sarrazin, Thomas Kyd und sein Kreis: Eine 

litterarhistorische Untersuchung. Berlin, 1892. 

Schick 1 Introduction to The Spanish Tragedy, edited 

by J. Schick. London, 1898 (The Temple 

Schick 2 Introduction to Spanish Tragedy, edited by 

J. Schick. Berlin, 1901 (Litterarhistorische 
Forschungen, Heft xix). 

Schmidt A. Schmidt, Shakespeare-Lexicon. 2 vols. 2nd 

edn, Berlin and London, 1886; 3rd edn (with 
revisions by G. Sarrazin), Berlin, 1902. 

Schiicking L. L. Schiicking, Die Zusdtze zur ,,Spanish 

Tragedy". Leipzig, 1938 (Berichte uberdie Ver- 
handlungen der Sachsischen Akademie der Wis- 
senschaften zu Leipzig. Band 90. Heft 2). 

Tilley M. P. Tilley, A Dictionary of the Proverbs in 

England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Cen- 
turies. Ann Arbor, 1950. 


Archiv Archivfiir das Studium der neueren Sprachen. 

J.E.G.P. Journal of English and Germanic Philology. 

M.L.N. Modern Language Notes. 

N. & Q. Notes and Queries. 

P.M.L.A. Publications of the Modern Language Associa- 

tion of America. 


P.Q. Philological Quarterly. 

R.E. S. Review of English Studies. 

Sh.Jahrbuch Shakespeare-Jahrbuch (formerly Jahrbuch der 

Deutschen Shakespeare-Gesellschafi). 

T.L.S. Times Literary Supplement. 

Quotations and line-numbers for Shakespeare from the Globe 
edition; for Seneca from the Loeb edition; for Marlowe from the 
Oxford edition (Tucker Brooke, 1910) ; for Mars ton's Antonio plays 
from the Malone Society Reprints ; for Dekker from the Cambridge 
edition (Bowers, 1953+). 



The Spanish Tragedy was anonymous in its own day. No edition of 
the sixteenth or seventeenth century mentioned the author, and it 
was not until 1773 that Hawkins found, in Heywood's Apology for 
Actors (1612)5 its assignment to Thomas Kyd. Discussing tragedies 
sponsored by the Roman emperors, Heywood remarks : 

Therefore M. Kid, in his Spanish Tragedy, upon occasion pre- 
senting itself e, thus writes. 

Why, Nero thought it no disparagement, 
And kings and emperours have tane delight 
To make experience of their wits in playes. 1 

There is no other external evidence that Kyd wrote The Spanish 
Tragedy. But there is a peculiarly intimate relation between The 
^Spanish Tragedy and Kyd's ^Cornelia (1594), translated from Gar- 
nTer,~aiidthe only reasonable way oFaccounting for the relationship 
is to say that the same man was responsible for both works. 2 There 
is no cause for doubting Heywood's attribution. 3 

Apart from The Spanish Tragedy and Cornelia (a translation) no 
play which is certainly Kyd's is known. He is renowned for having 
written the lost play of Hamlet (pre-1589), which was the source of 
Shakespeare's play, but it cannot be proved that he wrote it; the 
evidence lies in a disputed interpretation of a passage from Nashe's 
Preface to Menaphon (see below, pp. xxii f.), and in similarities be- 
tween The Spanish Tragedy and the later Hamlet, especially the first 
Quarto. The play Soliman and Perseda is^ attributed to Kyd chiefly 
because its plot is the same as that of the play-within-the-play in 
Act IV of The Spanish Tragedy; the stylistic resemblances are not 

1 Shakespeare Soc. Reprint (1841), p. 45. The excerpt is IV. i. 87-9. 

8 See Appendix C and notes to I. ii. 52-60 and in. vii. 8. 

3 The authorship of the Additions is discussed below in Section 6. 


overwhelming. Arguments have been advanced, some with little 
cogency and others with less, for Kyd's authorship or part-author- 
ship of Arden of Fever sham, King Leir, Titus Andronicus, Trouble- 
some Reign of King John, and other plays, even The Rare Triumphs 
of Love and Fortune. If the findings are usually questionable, the 
search is understandable, for Kyd was an established dramatist. 
Jonson refers in the First Folio to ''sporting Kid' in company with 
Lyly and Marlowe as one of the dramatists whom Shakespeare has 
outshgoe^Meres put Kyd among ^our best for Tragedie' in his 
Talladis Tamia (1598). Heywood, in Hierarchy of the Blessed Angels 
(1635), refers to Kyd in the same tone as he refers to other well- 
known dramatists 'Famous Kid was call'd but Tom* Dekker's 
reference to 'industrious Kyd' puts him among dramatists of rather 
less fame (see below, p. xxvi). Some of the plays which Kyd wrote 
may well be extant plays, either anonymous or wrongly attributed 
to another dramatist. But until more convincing evidence can be 
found, it is from The Spanish Tragedy alone that nis qualities as a 
dramatist have to be assessed. 1 

I A few facts concerning Kyd's life are known. The dramatist is 
usually identified with Thomas Kyd, son of Francis Kyd the 
scrivener .jfTheJjaplismal register of St Mary Woolnoth in the City 
of London carries, foj^Novemberjc^^S, the entry, 'Thomas, son of 
Francis Kidd, Citizen and Writer of the Courte Letter of London' 
(Boas, p. xv). Francis Kyd was a citizen of some standing: he held 
high office in the Company of Scriveners, 2 he was a churchwarden 
of St Mary Woolnoth, and he appears as witness to the wills of men 
of substance. In October 1565 he entered his son. Thomas at the 
recently founded Merchant Taylors' School, of which Mulcaster 
was headmaster and Spenser a senior schoolboy. The only other 
record of this Thomas Kyd t0ds to confirm his identity with the 
dramatist. On 30 December 1594, Anna Kyd, wife of Francis, made 
on behalf of her husband a formal and legal renunciation of the 

1 Of non-dramatic works, The Householders Philosophic (1588) by T. K. 
is probably Kyd's. There are some snatches of verse in Englands Parnassus 
(1600). A pamphlet, The Murder oflohn Brewen (i 592), is attributed to Kyd 
on the rather questionable evidence of his name being written in ink at the 
end of the one surviving copy; see Greg, Sh.Jahrbuch, xliv (1908), 155-6. 

2 B. M. Wagner, N. & Q., 15 December 1928. 


administration of the estate of her deceased son, Thomas, and of all 
title and interest in his goods and his debts. 1 Boas calls this act a 
repudiation, and suggests that the clouded last days of Kyd were 
the 'divers causes and considerations' which led to the renounce- 
ment. This may seem fanciful : it was not uncommon to refuse to 
administer an estate ; it may have been only the debts which shocked 
the parents. The importance of the deed is, first, that one would 
have conjectured that the dramatist, Kyd, died in 1534^ and, 
secondly, thant suggests Kyd had neither wife noLchildren, since 
his parents were apparently expected to administer his estate. 

To return to the records of Kyd's life, there is no evidence that he 
went to either university. It has been suggested, chiefly on the evi- 
dence of Nashe's reference (see below, p. xxii) to a 'sort of shifting 
companions' who 'leave the trade of Noverint' in order to write 
plays, that he followed his father's calling of scrivener. Though it is 
indeed dubious whether Nashe is referring to Kyd at all, Greg 
(English Literary Autographs, Plate xv) thinks that Kyd's beauti- 
fully clear handwriting suggests a training as a scrivener, and others 
have found the^frequency and accuracy of the legal terms 'm The, 
Spanish Tragedy significant of Kyd's acquaintance with the law 
through his father's profession. But, frankly, Kyd's career as a 
young man is obscure. We are on firmer ground with Kyd's own 
words in his letter to Puckering, the Lord Keeper, the probable date 
of which is the summerof I593. 3 Kyd wrote this letter to ask for 
help in being reinstated in the favour of his 'Lord', whom he does 
not name, whom he has served 'almost these six years now', that is, 
since about the end of 1587. Kyd does not say in what capacity he 
'served', but he knew the 'form of divine prayers used duly in his 
lordship's house', and he contrasts his own relationship with that of 
Marlowe, who 'bore name to serve my Lord, although his lordship 

1 See Boas, p. Ixxvi. The deed in the Archdeaconry of London Probate and 
Administration Act Book was discovered by Schick. 

2 There is a good deal of information about him in 1593, but silence 
afterwards; again, the dedication to Cornelia promises a translation of 
Garnier's Porcie in the summer, and so far as we know the promise was 
never fulfilled. 

3 There is a facsimile in Boas, and also a transcription (pp. cviii-cx), with 
an error of 'iij* for Vj*. 


never knew his service, but in writing for his players'. This last 
reference gives less help than it should in identifying the lord; pos- 
sibly it was Lord Strange. 1 

Another gleaning from Kyd's letter is that about the y_eat!59i 
Kyd and Marlowe were sharing lodgings, or, to be exact, w_ere 
'writing in one chamber'. Kyd has recorded how extremely uncom- 
fortable this proximity was for him 2 and it had dramatic conse- 
quences. On 12 May 1593, Kyd was in prison and a search of his 
lodgings had been carried out. 3 On the previous day the Privy 
Council had ordered urgent and severe measures to be taken to find 
and punish the author of 'late divers lewd and mutinous libels' 
(which have been identified with those attacking London's foreign 
artisans). Among Kyd's papers were found, not libels, but 'athe- 
istical' disputations, which Kyd affirmed to be Marlowe's and which 
were a cause of Marlowe's being summoned before the Privy Coun- 
cil on 1 8 May. Kyd claims that he was put to the torture during his 
arrest (permission for the use of torture had been given in the Privy 
Council's decree). It is not known how long he was in custody, but 
he was apparently not found guilty of the libel or of atheismf: His 
lord seems to Have renounced him in his disgrace, however, and, 
Utterly undone', Kyd wrote his letter to Puckering to ask for the 
favour of his interest, protesting his own innocence and his hatred 
of Marlowe (whom he refers to as dead). 

The last record of Kyd is the translation Cornelia (before 
January 1594). The dedication to the Countess of Sussex is dark 

Hauing no leysure (most noble Lady) but such as euermorc is 
traueld with th' afflictions of the minde, then which the world 
affoords no greater misery, it may bee wondred at by some, how I 
durst vndertake a matter of this moment : which both requireth 
cunning, rest and oportunity . . . 
. . . what grace that excellent GARNIER hath lost by my defaulte, 

1 So Tucker Brooke, Life of Marlowe, p. 47, and Boas, Christopher 
Marlowe, p. 242; but see also Boas' earlier suggestion of the Earl of Sussex, 
Kyd's Works, p. Ixiv. 

2 In the memorandum concerning 'Marlowes monstruous opinions', dis- 
covered by F. K. Brown, T.L.S., 2 June 1921. 

8 1 give the briefest account of the famous story, since it is so fully 
covered in Boas and in all lives of Marlowe. 


I shall beseech your Honour to repaire with the regarde of those so 
bitter times and priuie broken passions that I endured in the 
writing it. 

This wretchedness is a lamentable end to Kyd's career, for he 
appears to have been innocent of the crimes in connexion with 
which he was arrested, and his disgrace was undeserved. [If we 
accept the identification of Kyd with the son of Francis Kyd, he 
must have died before the late autumn of 1594. 7 

2. DATE 

The date of composition of The Spanish Tragedy is uncertain. 
Henslowe records in his Diary a performance of c spanes comodye 
donne oracoe' on 23 February 1591/2 and of 'Jeronymo' on 14 
March 1591/2 by Strange's Men at the Rose. There is no reason to 
doubt that c Jeronymo' was The Spanish Tragedy, though it is cus- 
tomary to assume that 'spanes comodye donne oracoe' was not a 
variant title but a 'first part', or associated play, now lost (see 
Appendix A).(The year 15^2^8 the upward limit for the date of the 
play is confirmed by the entry in the Stationers' Register on 
6j9ctober I5$2of 'the Spanishe tragedie ofT)on Horatio and Bell- 
impera'J^see below, p. xxviii). The earlier limit of date is 1582. The 
opening of Act II, Scene i imitate^^nrietXLVn of Thomas "Wat- 
son's Hecatompathia which (though published without date) was 
entered in the Stationers' Register on 31 March 1582, under the 
title of 'Watsons Passions'. Though Watson's images in the sonnet 
are commonplace (sec note at II. i. 3-10) there is no doubt of Kydls 
dependence on Watson^ since he breaks^the prosody jof ' his^blank 
verseto include Watson's rhyme-scheme. 

In the Induction to Jonson's Bartholomew Fair (1614) occurs the 
following remark: 'Hee that will sweare, leronimo, or Andronicus 
are the best playes, yet, shall passe vnexcepted at, heere, as a man 
whose ludgement shewes it is constant, and hath stood still, these 
fiue and twenty, or thirtie yeeres' ( Works, VI, 16). This allusion gives 
us 1584-9, but one hesitates to take the dates literally. Jonson is 
clearly talking in round figures, and the bracket of 1582-92 is not 
much narrowed; Jonson was born in 1572, and can hardly be con- 


sidered an authority on the dates of plays in the 1 5 8o's; thirdly, as 
J. C. Maxwell remarks in the preface to the New Arden edition of 
Titus Andronicusy Jonson was likely to exaggerate the antiquated- 
ness of the plays. 

But critics have found a point midway between Jonson's twenty- 
five or thirty years, about 1586-7, an acceptable date in the light of 
other evidence. The chief evidence is the renowned allusion to the 
'Kid in &sop y in the Preface which Nashe wrote to Greene's Mena- 
phon (Stationers' Register, 23 August 1589). Nashe 'turns back' to 
address 'a few of our triuiall translators'. 

It is a common practise now a dayes amongst a sort of shifting com- 
panions, that runne through euery Art and thriue by none, to 
leaue the trade of Nouerint, whereto they were borne, and busie 
themselues with the indeuours of Art, that could scarcely Latinize 
their neck verse if they should haue neede ; yet English Seneca read 
by Candle-light yeelds many good sentences, as Blood is a bcgger, 
and so forth; and if you intreate him faire in a ftostie morning, hee 
will affoord you whole Hamlets, I should say handfuls of Tragicall 
speeches. But O griefe! Tempus edax rerum, whats that will last 
alwayes ? The Sea exhaled by droppes will in continuance bee drie, 
and Seneca, let blood line by line and page by page, at length must 
needes die to our Stage; which makes his famished followers to 
imitate the Kid in SEsop, who, enamoured with the Foxes ncw- 
fangles, forsooke all hopes of life to leape into a newe occupation; 
and these men, renouncing all possibilities of crcdite or estima- 
tion, to intermeddle with Italian Translations: Wherein how 
poorely they haue plodded, (as those that are neither prouenzall 
men, nor are able to distinguish of Articles,) let all indifferent 
Gentlemen that haue trauelled in that tongue discerne by their 
two-pennie Pamphlets. And no maruell though their home borne 
mediocritie bee such in this matter : for what can bee hoped of those 
that thrust Elisium into hell, and haue not learned, so long as they 
haue liued in the Spheres, the iust measure of the Horizon without 
an hexameter ? Sufficeth them to bodge vp a blanke verse with ifs 
and ands, and otherwhile for recreation after their Candle-sturTe, 
hauing starched their beards most curiously, to make Peripateticall 
path into the inner parts of the Citie, and spend two or three 
howers in turning ouer French Dozudie, where they attract more 
infection in one minute, then they can do eloquence all daies of 
their life, by conuersing with any Authors of like argument. 1 

1 Nashe, Works, in, 315-16. 


Boas took the accepted view in supposing that one writer was being 
referred to, identified as Kyd by the references to the 'Kid in 
JEsop* and to Nouerint (that is, scrivener), and that Nashe, there- 
fore, reveals Kyd as the author of the 'Ur-Hamlet' ; that The Spanish 
Tragedy is alluded to in the phrase 'thrust Elisium into hell' (the 
description of the underworld in the first scene), in the phrase 
'bodge vp a blanke verse with ifs and ands' (i.e., What, villain, ifs 
and ands ? at n. i. 77), and in the phrase 'turning ouer French 
Dowdie' (i.e., the use of Gamier in the account of the battle in I. ii). 
This whole interpretation is admirably challenged by McKerrow 
(Nashe, iv, 449-52) and by G. I. Duthie (The 'Bad' Quarto of 
Hamlet (1941), pp. 55-76), who is able to review more recent con- 
tributions to the debate. It seems clear that Nashe is attacking 
several writers (a sort of companions that is, a group) and not one 
alone; it needs also an extraordinary straining of the evidence to 
produce any allusion at all to The Spanish Tragedy. Kyd does not 
trip up over his Elysium (see note to I. i. 73) ; what Nashe means by 
bodging up a blank verse with ifs and ands is a very different thing 
from Kyd's inoffensive use of the phrase 'ifs and ands' itself; the 
reference to 'French Dowdie 9 is smut, an allusion to Garnier being 
most unlikely in the context. The question remains whether Kyd is 
or is not one of the group of writers whom Nashe is inveighing 
against amongst whom is, apparently, the author of the first 
Hamlet. The matter is briefly discussed in Appendix B, since what 
matters in the present argument is that, there being no likely allu- 
sion to The Spanish Tragedy in the passage, the play is not required 
to be before 1 589. 

1587 has been favoured as a date because of the absence of any 
reference to the Armada in the play. In I. iv, the triumphs of Eng- 
lish arms in the Iberian peninsula are celebrated in Hieronimo's 
pageant. The latest in date of these is John of Gaunt's expedition. 
Schick writes, in his Preface to the New Temple edition (p. xxiii) : 

It is difficult to believe that these half-apocryphal stories should 
have been brought forward as a matter of satisfaction, in face of the 
real and tangible glories of the Armada. The enumeration of these 
old victories . . . was certainly more in place about 1585-87, when 
the great contest with Spain was only just brewing. 


But the argument is poor. 1 Let us suppose that The Spanish 
Tragedy was written after the Armada: it surely would have been 
foolish for Kyd to have introduced an allusion to it in the pageant 
before his King of Spain, for such an allusion would have placed the 
play squarely in a contemporary setting, inviting an identification of 
the King with Philip II, and corresponding identifications of his 
leading characters and the events of the story. Historically speaking, 
and it is in his interest to keep his Spain 

clear of association with the Spain of his own time. It is unfortunate 
that Schick attempted, in hunting after both source and date, to 
relate the affairs between Spain and Portugal in the play to the real 
clash between these countries which ended with Spain's annexa- 
tion of her neighbour. It is true that there had been a bloody battle 
between Spain and Portugal in 1580 (Alcantara) in which Portugal 
was defeated; it is true that after the close of 1582 Portugal was 
governed, as in the play, by a viceroy; it is true that the last stage in 
the annexation of Portugal by Philip was the action over Terceira in 
1583 (an action very well known to Englishmen) and that Terceira 
is mentioned in Kyd's play (i. iii. 82); it is true that Kyd refers 
(though most inaccurately) to Portugal's loss of her imperial posi- 
tion (see note to in. xiv. 6-7). But this 'late conflict' (i. i. 1 5) in Kyd's 
play isj_v^rbetween^pain and its triGutai^prtujgal, governed by 
a viceroy, arising from Portugal's refusal to pay its tribute. There 
\ wa_s no war between Spain and Portugal after the institution of a 
jviceroy by Philip* and since the viceroy was his own nephew, 
appointed by him to govern the country in his absence, 2 war be- 
tween the two men is an absurd thought ; and before the annexation 
there could be no question of tribute. It is equally ludicrous to sug- 
gest (cf. Schick, pp. xxiii-xxiv) that the projected marriage between 
Balthazar and Bel-imperia reflects a proposed marriage which was 
part of the negotiations between Philip and the Duke of Braganza 
before Alcantara. 
If Kyd's play was based on real events, then the absence of any 

1 W. Bang suggested (Englische Studien, xxviii, 1900, 229-34) that Kyd's 
silence might simply imply that the intoxication over the victory was a 
thing of the past. 

2 H. V. Livermore, History of Portugal (1947), pp. 268-9. 


reference to the Armada would be near to proof that the play was 
written before 1588. But the reflection of historical events is so 
trifling and tangential that the argument falls to the ground. One 
has only to look at a play which does deal with what really passed 
between Spain and Portugal, like The Battle of Alcazar ( ?I588), to 
realize that Kyd is innocent of contemporary allusions. Indeed, 
when we consider how much English dramatists (and their audi- 
ences) knew of the recent sad history of Portugal of 'Sebastian- 
ism' for example it seems, as I have suggested, that Kyd must 
have been trying to avoid verisimilitude. In The Battle of Alcazar, 
there is, besides a verifiable historical setting, the vein of English 
sympathy for Portugal's plight and the expected picture of Spain as 
the proud and perfidious papist kingdom, together with references 
to Spain's activities in the Low Countries. Here is an important 
silence in Kyd which has been strangely ignored. Even if The 
Spanish Tragedy had been written before the Armada, one would 
have expected something to show itself of English hostilityjo 
Spanish pride and Spanish religion, and to the campaigns in the 
Low Countries. Unless it be that Kyd deliberately eschewed 'local 
colour' in which case the absence of any reference to the Armada 
ceases to be of any significance. 

We must take it tharKyd was writing a revenge play, and that he 
wanted (or his source gave) war between two countries for its set- 
ting, and that he chose Spain and Portugal without much thought 
of the real Spain and the real Portugal. When he came to write 
Hieronimo's pageant, he was prepared for a moment to cater for 
English patriotic feeling, but he placed the English triumphs in a 
vague and inaccurate past, which has the needed effect of keeping 
his play at a distance from contemporary events and preserving the 
unhistorical flavour of his play.' The absence of any reference to the 
Armada is of no consequence in dating the play. 

An extremely early date, 1582-5, has been proposed by T. W. 
Baldwin. 1 He argues that from the time Kyd entered his unknown 
lord's service in 1587, he did not write plays. He believes that The 

1 'On the Chronology of Thomas Kyd's Plays, M.L.N., xl (1925), 343-9; 
'Thomas Kyd's Early Company Connections', P.Q., vi (1927), 311-13. 
Cf. Biesterfeldt, pp. 22-4. 


Spanish Tragedy precedes Soliman and Perseda, which he dates 
1584-6 on the basis that Death's compliment to Queen Elizabeth 
refers to the Babington conspiracies. He also refers to Dekker's 
A Knight's Conjuring (1607), which links 'learned Watson, indus- 
trious Kyd, ingenious Atchlow, inimitable Bentley', and he notes 
that Dekker says that Bentley was 'moulded out of the pens' of Wat- 
son, Kyd and Atchlow. As Bentley died in August 1585, it is pre- 
sumed that Kyd's works were written before that date. But it can- 
not be proved that The Spanish Tragedy did not follow Soliman and 
Perseda, and it cannot be proved that The Spanish Tragedy was one 
pf the plays which moulded the forgotten Bentley. The most we can 
say is that if it could be shown that Kyd wrote no plays after enter- 
ing the service of his lord (who was a patron of players), then 1587 
would be the latest date for the play. 

The evidence from literary sources, apart from Watson, is nuga- 
tory. It may well be that Kyd used the 1585 edition of Garnier's 
tragedies for his borrowings from Cornelie, but he could have used 
an earlier text. F. Bowers' suggestion that Kyd used a tract of 1584 
in writing the Pedringano episode (see below, p. xlix) is persuasive, 
but insufficient without support. 

The only evidence which remains is in the agonizing battlefield 
of verbal parallels with other works. A vast amount of work has been 
done on parallel passages, mainly for the purpose of establishing 
the canon of Kyd, but on the comparatively few occasions on which 
the parallels seem significant, it is usually impossible to decide 
which of the passages was written first. Five works seem to me to 
have a really significant relation with The Spanish Tragedy : Mar- 
lowe's Tamburlaine, Part 2, and The Jew of Malta, Shakespeare's 
King John and 3 Henry VI> and Thomas Watson's English render- 
ing of his own Latin elegy on Walsingham, Melib&us. The most 
important of the relations is with Watson's work, discussed in 
Appendix D ; the elegy was published in 1 590 (Walsingham died on 
6 April) : I tentatively suggest that Kyd borrowed from Watson. 
The possible debt to 2 Tamburlaine is described in Appendix C ; the 
play dates from about 1588 (published 1590). The parallels with 
The Jew of Malta and King John are indecisive as respects prece- 
dence (see notes to HI. xii. 71 and I. ii. 172). 5 Henry VI (usually 


dated 1590-1) appears to me to borrow from Kyd (see notes to 
I. iv. 140-57; ii. v. 17; ii. v. 51-2). 

No reader will need to be warned of the entire absence of proof in 
these parallels ; they are brought forward none the less, straws as 
they are, because the date they would hint at, namely 1590, seems 
to me not at all inappropriate to the style and manner of The 
Spanish Tragedy. I have tried to show that arguments used to place 
the play in the mid- 1580*8 are not valid; it is time attention was 
turned to the possibility of a later date. The elaborately patterned 
rhetoric of the play perhaps conceals for some readers the 'modern- 
ity' of Kyd's handling of dialogue and character in many parts of his 
play; and the long stylized speeches themselves are used with a 
force and a cunning which puts them apart from their type. The 
Spanish Tragedy would be something of a miracle if it were written 
in the early 1580*8. If the aptness of a date such as 1590 were grant- 
ed, I think that new evidence would eventually be found, simply by 
redirecting the search. Meanwhile, on the basis of what firm evi- 
dence we have, the date for the play must remain as between 1582 
and 1592 ; but one may express a firm preference for a date towards 
the upper limit. 

3. TEXT 

The one authoritative text of The Spanish Tragedy (excluding the 
Additions) is to be found in the edition printed by Edward Allde for 
Edward White, the only known copy of which is in the British 
Museum (C.34.d.7). The title-page is worded 'The Spanish 
Tragedie, Containing the lamentable end of Don Horatio, and Bel- 
imperia : with the pittifull death of olde Hieronimot Newly corrected 
and amended of such grosse faults as passed in the first impression. 
At London Printed by Edward Allde, for Edward White. '.The edi- 
tion bears no date, but it is beyond reasonable doubt (as will be 
seen) that it was in print by the end of 1592, and it is most probable 
that it was printed during that year ; for convenience, it is hencefor- 
ward referred to as 1592*. Except for the text of the Additions, which 
were first printed in 1602, 1592 is the source of every other extant 
edition of the play ; and it is, as it must be, the basis of the text in the 
present edition. 


1592 has the appearance of a quarto (A-K 4 L 2 ), but Allde printed 
it, as he did Soliman and Perseda ( ?I592), from some extra-large 
sheets, torn in half to give the normal working size, and it is custo- 
mary to call the format so produced an 'octavo in fours' 1 ; there is no 
other bibliographical irregularity of importance. 2 In the text itself, 
the general style of composition is uniform, and though there are 
variations in spelling and in the contraction of final -ed> the evidence 
does not show that more than one compositor was at work on the 
text (cf. below, p. xxxiii). 

Although the AUde/Edward White edition is the earliest extant, 
it claims to have corrected 'the first impression'. Its predecessor 
would presumably be one published by Abel Jeffes, by whom the 
play was entered on the Register of the Stationers' Company on 
6 October 1 592: 

Abell leffes Entred for his copie vnder thandes of mr Hartwcll 
and mr Stirrop, a booke wche is^called the Spanishe 
tragedie of Don Horatio and Bellimpera &c'. 

vj ci debt hoc 3 

On 1 8 December 1592, the full court of the Stationers' Company 
found that Edward White had 'offendyd' 'in havinge printed the 
spanishe tragedie belonging to Abell leffes'; White was fined ten 
shillings, and all the copies of his illegal edition were ordered to be 
confiscated and sold for the benefit of the poor of the Company. 4 
We want to know what was the nature of Jeffes' edition, and 

1 Cf. Greg, Bibl E.P.D., I, 109; F. T. Bowers, Principles of Biblio- 
graphical Description (1949), pp. 193-5. The technical description is not 
entirely satisfactory, but it will at least help the student to understand why 
the chain-lines are vertical, and not horizontal as in a quarto printed from 
normal-size paper. According to MSR (1592)) the edition of 1594 is also an 
octavo in fours. 

2 After the setting of Sheet A, which does not contain the usual head- 
lines, two skeletons were used in the printing : one for each inner forme, and 
one for each outer forme. The running titles in both skeletons were slightly 
altered before the printing of Sheet C the inner forme to correct Tragedie, 
the outer forme for no observable reason. There is no indication of an inter- 
ruption in the printing. The four pages of sig. L were printed by half- 
sheet imposition, using the skeleton of the outer forme. 

8 Arber, n, 293; Greg, Bibl. E.P.D., I, 8; MSR (1592), p. vi. 
4 Greg and Bos well, Records of the Court of the Stationers' Company, 
1576-1602, p. 44; MSR (1592), pp. vii-xiii. 


whether White's was a reprint of it or was set up independently 
from manuscript. It has been a common assumption that Jeffes' 
edition gave a defective and debased text, acquired and published 
without the authority of the theatre, while White's edition was 'an 
excellent version, perhaps supplied by the players with the express 
purpose of superseding the one already in print'. 1 Though I believe, 
for reasons later to be given, that this assumption is correct as re- 
spects Jeffes, the facts of publication alone do not give unwavering 
support to the theory. Abel Jeffes was in severe conflict with the 
authorities during the summer and autumn of I592, 2 and it is most 
likely that he printed his edition of The Spanish Tragedy before the 
worst of his troubles began in August. 3 Provided he had licence 
from the ecclesiastical authorities, the publication would be quite 
regular, whether or not he had sanction from the theatre or the 
author ; the fact of publication alone, without entry in the Register, 
would be sufficient to establish his copyright. He made his entry in 
the Register, nevertheless, on 6 October; perhaps to confirm his 
copyright when he learned that Edward White was bringing out an 
edition. (It will be understood that even if White were proposing to 
print from a new manuscript, there was still offence against copy- 
right, which was invested in the work, and not in any particular 
form of it. 4 ) White did not desist, however, and when Jeffes was suf- 
ficiently out of disgrace to lay his accusation against him, White 
countered with an accusation against Jeffes for having piratically 
printed his Arden of Fever sham ', Jeffes suffered exactly the same 
penalty as White. Interestingly enough, the third edition of the 
play (1594) was inscribed 'Printed by Abell leffes, and are to be 
sold by Edward White'. Though Jeffes' right in the play had been 
upheld by the Company, he was prepared to come to terms with 
White, and arrange a compromise whereby White had the subordi- 
nate role of bookseller in the publication (MSR (1592), p. xiii). 

1 Greg and Nichol Smith, MSR (1592), p. ix. 

2 For a sketch of his stormy career, see Kirschbaum, Shakespeare and the 
Stationers, 1955, pp. 300-1. 

3 He was ordered to be 'committed to ward* on 7 August; see Greg and 
Bos well, op. cit.y p. 42. 

4 Problems about copyright are discussed in Kirschbaum's Shakespeare 
and the Stationers. 


White's title-page claim that he had 'corrected and amended' the 
'gross faults' in the previous edition has to be taken with caution: 
many such claims were made when there was little or no justifica- 
tion for them. 'Perhaps,' says Kirschbaum, 1 'White corrected the 
printing-house errors in Jeffes' edition ; perhaps his claim was based 
on thin air.' But, we have to add, perhaps his claim was justified. 
The Second Quarto of Romeo and Juliet claims to be 'Newly cor- 
rected, augmented, and amended', and the claim is correct. White's 
claim may not necessarily mean that he put out a good text to super- 
sede a bad, but the evidence cited by Kirschbaum does not neces- 
sarily mean that he did not. It would seem to be a strange piece of 
knavery in White to commit the worst crime in publishing (the con- 
travention of copyright) by reprinting, line for line, a lawful edition 
and making the claim that he was supplying a corrected edition. 
Jeflfes' willingness to come to terms with White over the 1594 edi- 
tion suggests that White was not, in fact, such an audacious rogue. 2 
But whatever significance one sees in the actions of the two men, 
there is little in the bare facts to help us to decide the provenance of 
the editions of Jeffes and White, and the relation between them. 
It is therefore necessary to try to establish the nature of the copy for 
1592 from an examination of the text itself; but it will be seen that 
from this examination something about the nature of Jeffes' edition 
may be conjectured. 

The Copy for 1592 

1592 is carefully and neatly printed and an editor's problems are 
comparatively few. There are, however, certain oddities and ano- 
malies, and, as most of these are to be found in the last quarter of the 
play, it is convenient to divide the play into two parts for the pur- 

1 'Is The Spanish Tragedy a Leading Case ?', J.E.G.P., xxxvii (1938), 

2 On the other hand, we do not need to think (cf. Greg, The Library, 4, vi 
(1926), 47-56) that Jeffes had to come to terms with White in order to re- 
print the 'good' text of 1592. Jeffes could cheerfully have gone ahead with 
White's text on his own, however bad his own previous effort had been ; 
copyright, as we have said, inhered in the work, and not in good or bad 
versions of it. Similarly, the very fact that Jeffes chose 7592 as copy for 
'594) instead of his own edition, argues nothing : 1592 might simply have 
been a cleaner text to print from. 


pose of discussion: (i) up to and including in. xiv (11. 1-2349 in 
MSR), and (ii) in. xv to the end (11. 2350-967). 

(i) /. i-IIL xiv 

The evidence strongly suggests that the copy, whether directly 
or through Jeffes' edition, was an author's manuscript and a neat 
manuscript at that. 1 The stage-directions are full and elaborate, and 
are best explained as deriving from a dramatist with a good under- 
standing of stage practice, who was anxious to note down in great 
detail the particular effects he wished to see produced on the stage; 
e.g., She, in going in^ lets fall her glove ', which Horatio, coming out, 
takes up. . . Balthazar starts back. . . Hieronimo sets his breast unto his 
sword. . . Alexandra seems to entreat. . . He strives with the watch. . . 
She runs lunatic. . . He whispereth in her ear. . . He draweth out a 
bloody napkin. . . Bazulto remains till Hieronimo enters again, who, 
staring him in the face, speaks. Several directions point to the dra- 
matist's thinking of the 'real' environment of the story and for- 
getting the stage presentation ; e.g., Falls to the ground. . . Pedringano 
showeth all to the Prince and Lorenzo, placing them in secret. . . He 
diggeth with his dagger. 

The detail of some of the stage-directions might suggest that the 
book-keeper of the company had been through the manuscript and 
at least begun to prepare it for the stage. I do not think there are any 
unequivocal signs, however, of a theatrical 'layer' among the stage- 
directions. It is true that there are many indications for hand- 
properties (e.g., Give him his chain. . . Enter Boy with the box.) but 
on the other hand there is a lack of directions for flourishes and 
music. 2 In three places the evidence is debatable, (i) At in. ii. 25, 
there is the extraordinary direction Red ink at the side of the text of 
Bel-imperia's message written in her blood. It seems more likely 
that the author made a note that red ink was to be used for the letter 
than that the book-keeper was reminding himself to get such a letter 
written. (2) In ii. ii, there is a direction for concealing Balthazar and 
Lorenzo which does not indicate the part of the stage where they 

1 Technically, 'foul papers' ; one suspects, from the inferred neatness, 
that the MS. was not a first draft, but a fair copy. 

2 This double point was communicated by R. Hosley. Evidence for 
staging is discussed in detail by Biesterfeldt, Ch. 4. 


are to be hidden. Before Balthazar speaks from his hiding-place, the 
direction Balthazar above occurs (n. ii. 17). I argue in the note to 
that passage that the latter direction would not be a satisfactory 
alteration for a book-keeper to make, but might well be an author's 
hasty addition to clarify the action on the stage. (3) At the end of 
H. v, there is some inconsistency in the directions for removing 
Horatio's body from the stage, and it might be argued (see note) 
that Hieronimo's Latin dirge was struck out by the theatre and a 
direction inserted to close the scene before the dirge. The directions 
are, in the last resort, actable, and the evidence for stage interven- 
tion is slight; there is, none the less, a difficulty here, and it is asso- 
ciated with others to be discussed shortly (see below, pp. xxxvi ff.). 

There are, finally, several tell-tale authorial inconsistencies 
which must argue that even if the author's manuscript had been 
prepared for the stage, the preparation had not gone far. At in. i, 
we have Enter Viceroy of Portingale, Nobles, Alexandro, Villuppo. 
But Alexandro does not enter until 1. 31, at which point an entry is 
provided for him. It seems impossible to explain this as a unique 
anticipatory entry in prompt-book style, or as a unique 'massed 
entry' heading in the style of some scribes. It seems to be an author's 
reminder of the characters he needed in the forthcoming scene. In 
I. iii, there is no provision for attendants to carry oif Alexandro and, 
indeed, no exit is provided for him. There is some inconsistency in 
referring to characters. Balthazar is Balthazar or Prince. Castile is 
The Duke of Castile, Castile, Don Cyprian, the Duke. Page becomes 
Boy. In in. xiii, an Old Man enters, who is Senex in the speech- 
headings and is referred to in a stage-direction as Bazulto. These 
variations would hardly be tolerable in a prompt-book. 

Though it may be tempting to attribute the absence of confusion 
in the text to the exceptionally clear handwriting of Kyd, there is no 
evidence of the spellings he favours in his autograph letters, such as 
(for example) cold, wold, shold; don, donn ;geue ; breiflie ; contynewd', 
teadious', toching', byn, wrytt; tyme', monstruous. All these words are 
spelt differently in 1592. Where spellings are the same, they are too 
orthodox to prove anything. On the other hand (assuming for the 
moment that 1592 is based upon manuscript) there is no reason to 
deny Kyd's hand because of the evidence of spelling. The careful 


spelling of 1592 has its origin in Allde's printing house, and it is pos- 
sible to detect the same 'house-training' (if not the same composi- 
tor) in other works printed by Allde at this period; for example, 
Rare Triumphs of Love and Fortune (i 589), Famous History ofPalla- 
dine of England (1588), Perkins' A Golden Chain (1592), Massacre 
at Paris (1594 P). 1 Kyd's spellings may well have been ironed out by 
a compositor with his own views on spelling. I do not enter on the 
difficult ground of whether the variation in spelling is more likely 
to imply a printing from a manuscript than from a printed text. 2 

So far as the first part of the play is concerned (by far the larger 
part) it is reasonable to say that the copy, either directly or through 
a previous edition, was an author's manuscript, probably not yet 
edited for stage use. 

(ii) ///. xv the end 

What has been said of the first part of the play applies to the 
second part, but the second part contains four features which are 
irregular and demand special attention. I shall outline all the prob- 
lems before attempting any solutions, because the reader may well 
think he needs a frontier between fact and fancy. 

(i) in. xv is a short scene of fifty lines, one of the 'chorus' scenes 
between Andrea and Revenge which close every act. The text is 
extremely corrupt and in marked contrast with the rest of the play. 
In several lines, no convincing emendations can be suggested (e.g., 
3-7, 11). Where there is no demonstrable corruption, the syntax is 
often awkward, and the verse crabbed. There is an inane repetition 
of 'Awake !': 'Awake Erictha, Cerberus awake,' (i), 'Reuenge awake. 
Awake, for why? Awake Reuenge, for thou art . . .' (8-ioJ, 
'Awake ReuengeJ (13), 'Awake Reuenge* (17), 'Awake Reuenge' 
(29). For the dumb-show, in striking contrast with the elaborate 
detail given for Hieronimo's pageant (i. iv. 137) and the fullness of 
the stage-directions generally, there is only the bare direction, 
'Enter a dumme shew'. Finally, the initial and the concluding 
directions, 'Enter Ghoast and Reuenge.\ and * Exeunt. 9 , are palpable 

1 A brief code of the spellings isifreend', -nes, -les, etc. ; heere' 3 goej he y be> 

2 Cf. A. Walker, Studies in Bibliography , vii (1955), 7-8. 


mistakes, since it is obvious not only from the previous 'choruses' 
but also from the present ('I will sit to see the rest') that Andrea and 
Revenge remain on the stage during the whole of the play (cf. 
Biesterfeldt, pp. 86-7). 

(ii) iv. i, from the entry of Lorenzo and Balthazar at 1. 52 to the 
end, shows great irregularity in the metre. Though editorial adjust- 
ment can make a few improvements, it is not a question of mis- 
lineation but of writing which (prosodically speaking) is thoroughly 
uneven. Yet the language does not lack vitality and clarity, as in 
in. xv. This part of the scene is devoted to the arrangement of the 

(iii) At iv. i. 172-8, Hieronimo suddenly remarks that his play is 
to be given in 'unknown languages', one player is to speak in Latin, 
one in Greek, one in Italian, one in French. The 'actors' protest 
that this will mean 'mere confusion', but Hieronimo reassures them 
that he will 'make the matter known' in an oration at the end. At the 
close of the playlet, we have this : 

King. But now what follows for Hieronimo ? 

Hier. Marry, this follows for Hieronimo : 

Here break we off our sundry languages 
And thus conclude I in our vulgar tongue. 
Haply you think . . . etc. 

But the playlet is of course given in English, and immediately be- 
fore it stands the following note : 

Gentlemen, this play of Hieronimo in sundrie Languages, was 

thought good to be set downe in English more largely, 

for the easier vnder standing to euery 

publique Reader. 

The presence of the note, and the contradiction between the pro- 
mised and the actual language of the play argue that there is a prob- 
lem to be solved concerning the unity of the copy. 

(iv) At the end of the lethal play-within-the-play, Hieronimo 
makes a long speech (during which he shows Horatio's body), 
giving a full account of the murder of his son and the revenge which 
he has taken on the murderers by means of the play. In spite of this 
explanation, the King, having prevented Hieronimo's attempt at 


suicide, says, 'Now I have thee I will make thee speak : / Why hast 
thou done this undeserving deed ?' He is echoed by Castile and the 
Viceroy. Hieronimo gives a brief reply, but the King goes on, 'Why 
speak'st thou not ?' But Hieronimo swears silence: { I may not, nor 
I will not tell thee.' And even with the threat of torture, he says, 

Never shalt thou force me to reveal 
The thing which I have vow'd inviolate. 

He then bites out his tongue. But there is nothing which Hieronimo 
has vowed inviolate, and nothing which he has not told the King in 
his long speech. That the King should be violently moved and 
strangely bewildered is only to be expected, but that his passion 
should take the form of insisting on information which he already 
has is almost as odd as Hieronimo's vowing to conceal what he has 
already told. 

Besides containing so marked a contradiction, the scene is crude 
aesthetically and (to some extent) textually. The crudity of the 
speeches and the action speak for themselves in a reading of the 
passage, but there is also an inner inconsistency in the fact that even 
in stressing his new role of saying nothing, Hieronimo twice avows 
that Lorenzo murdered his son. Textually, the passage is not ver- 
bally corrupt like in. xv, but, in contrast with the earlier part of the 
play, it is remarkably deficient in stage-directions (two are supplied 
in the present text from later editions). The breaking in of the 
guard (if they do break in), the arrest of Hieronimo, the biting out of 
the tongue, and the final letting of blood are accompanied by two 
directions only, found at the end of the violent action, and appear- 
ing thus in 1592 : 

King. And if in this he satisfie vsnot, 
We will deuise the'xtreamest kinde of death, 
That euer was inuented for a wretch. 

Then he makes signes for a knife to mend his pen. 
Cos. O he would haue a knife to mend his Pen. 
Vice. Heere, and aduise thee that thou write the troth, 
Looke to my brother, saue Hieronimo. 

He with a knife stabs the Duke and himselfe. 
King. What age hath euer heard such monstrous deeds ? 


The first direction is interesting: it appears to take words from the 
text which follows ; the he is vague in its reference ; Then is used in a 
narrative fashion, to be contrasted with its use to indicate part of a 
sequence of stage-business at i. iv. 137.2. (The passage is also cor- 
rupt in that the line 'Looke to my brother . . .' is mis-ascribed; but 
mis-ascription of speeches is found elsewhere.) It may also be 
noted that the stage-direction at the end of this last scene of the play 
proper contains a slight irregularity: the Viceroy goes out 'bearing 
the body of his son\ though he directed Don Pedro in the preceding 
speech to take the body up. The final chorus opens with a repetition 
of the erroneous 'Enter* for Andrea and Revenge. 

The irregularities suggest the possibility (a) that The Spanish 
Tragedy was at some stage revised to make it shorter and more suit- 
able for the public stage, and (b) that the copy for 1592 contained a 
portion of alien and inferior copy. 

Hieronimo's silence will seem less queer if we suppose with 
Schiicking that in iv. iv. 153-201 we have, not confusion, but an 
alternative ending to the play. The 1592 text of The Spanish 
Tragedy is rather long for an Elizabethan play of its period (cf. 
Schiicking, p. 6, and Hart, Shakespeare and the Homilies, especially 
pp. 81-3), and abridgement may well have been needed. Hiero- 
nimo's long speech of explanation tells the audience what they 
already know. To cut this speech after Horatio's body has been 
revealed (Schucking, p. 71) and to substitute vows of silence for the 
long elucidation perhaps even to add the biting out of the tongue 
would shorten the play, and it is possible that someone thought it 
would add to the piquancy of the ending. Both versions would end 
with the murder of Castile and Hieronimo's suicide, but the 
original would not have been without the grandeur which the 
existing text completely lacks. Secondly, the contradiction between 
the promise of foreign languages for the play-within-the-play and 
the English text which is in fact given can be understood if we pos- 
tulate a revision for the sake of shortening and sharpening the play. 
There are, of course, other ways of accounting for the inconsis- 
tency. (0) The printer might have secured a translation for a play in 
'sundry languages' and hence the note before the play is to be taken 
literally. But that would argue extraordinary complaisance in the 


printer, and no less complaisance among the audience if, in the 
theatre, they had been asked to endure sixty lines in languages they 
could not understand. () The text might be as performed in the 
theatre; foreign languages are promised but, since an unlettered 
audience could not accept them, the play is, in fact, given in Eng- 
lish. But this course would be entirely pointless : there is not the 
least need for foreign languages to be mentioned at all. It is much 
more likely that the mention of foreign tongues represents one ver- 
sion and the English text of the playlet represents another. But 
which is the earlier and which is the later ? It could be argued that 
in the original version Kyd promised, and wrote, the Soliman and 
Perseda episode in c sundry languages', but that the stage objected 
more strongly than did Lorenzo and Balthazar that this would be 
'mere confusion', and so Kyd decided to provide a translated ver- 
sion. Though this may seem a very reasonable procedure, it is more 
likely that the modification was in the other direction. For Hiero- 
nimo's suggestion that they should speak in different languages is 
very much of an afterthought (iv. i. i69ff.) and can be explained as a 
later addition, and the reference to the 'sundry languages' at the 
close of the play-within-the-play (iv. iv. 74-5) is indeed a 'detach- 
able' couplet; And, if abridgement is in question, the text of Hiero- 
nimo's play can very well be cut. As Biesterfeldt pointed out (p. 45), 
the audience has already been given, at iv. i. 108-26, a detailed plot 
of the play, one-third as long as the playlet itself. I take it that 
Kyd originally intended the play to be in English, but that, 
when abridgement of an over-long play was required, a mime 
was substituted, a mime accompanied, for the sake of 'drama', 
with a few well-chosen lines in gibberish or 'sundry languages', 
and references to these languages were inserted before and after 
the mime. 1 

1 My view of how the playlet was given on the stage agrees very closely 
with that put forward by Biesterfeldt in 1935 (p. 45), though the grounds of 
his argument were quite different. 'Es war wahrscheinlich eine Pantomime 
mit sehr knappem Begleittext, der ruhig fremdsprachlich und zum Teil 
unvcrstandlich sein konnte, da die ,,Handlung", das Vorgangmassige dcs 
Spieles, eingchcnd vorbcreitet war.' Biesterfeldt thought it significant that 
the printer's note says that the play is set down 'in English more largely', for 
the more largely implies that the stage-version was shorter. 


But it will immediately be asked how elements of two versions 
still stand in the text, and how it was that the printer was so puzzled 
by inconsistencies in his copy that he had to provide the note to the 
'public reader'. (And, of course, how two versions of the ending 
come to be present in 1592.} It is possible that in Kyd's manuscript 
cancelled versions were not properly deleted, and that the printer 
included part of what should have been erased or it is possible that 
the copy for the printer contained only the beginnings of a revision 
which was completed in another manuscript; the problem of the 
stage-directions at the end of 11. v (see above, p. xxxii) might support 
a theory of inchoate revision. But this latter problem is small and 
isolated; there is nothing else in the first two-thirds of the play to 
suggest that any revision had taken place or even been started. And 
surely it is the early part of the play, with the long accounts of the 
battle, which would certainly have been marked for revision. There 
is, I think, a simpler explanation than that contradictory versions 
stood side by side in the c foul papers'. 

The inadequacies in in. xv (the scene between Andrea and 
Revenge discussed above, p. xxxiii), inadequacies in textual quality, 
in stage-directions, and in the style of the language, suggest very 
strongly that the copy for this scene was different in kind from the 
copy used up to that point, and inferior to it. Although some of the 
difficulties could be explained by supposing that on one particular 
page of the manuscript the writing was very hard to read, illegi- 
bility would hardly account for the errors of the initial and final 
stage-directions, nor for the repetition of c Awake!' nor for the 
general weakness of the verse (see also note on HI. xv. 24). I incline 
to the view that we have, not an illegible text, but a debased text. 
How, then, does it come to be present ? Let us suppose that a leaf, 
or even a single page, of the copy is damaged or defective. The 
printer might quite naturally turn to a text of the play which is 
already in print Jeffes' edition. If this supposition is correct, then 
it seems that Jeffes' text was indeed 'bad' that is to say, reported 
or assembled by 'unauthorized' persons (cf. above, p. xxix). Let us 
suppose again that, Jeffes' text being in the printing house, it is used 
again during the printing of the remainder of the play, either for 
convenience, or to supply further defective parts of the manu- 


script. 1 A reported text would naturally give the version of the play 
which was acted, including (according to the hypothesis which I 
have advanced) the Vow of silence 5 ending, and the mime instead 
of the English-language play-within-the-play. It is easy to imagine 
that, in setting-up Hieronimo's long speech of explanation from the 
manuscript copy, the printer could not see that it conflicted with 
what he then set from printed copy, although earlier he had seen 
that the English text of the play-within-the-play (missing, natur- 
ally, from Jeffes) conflicted with a promise of foreign languages in 
the printed copy, and he had therefore supplied the ingenious note 
to the 'public reader'. 

The evidence that Allde used both manuscript copy and 'bad' 
printed copy in the last act of the play does not rest alone on the 
presence of contradictory versions of the play-within-the-play and 
the ending. My suggestion has been that the reference to the 'un- 
known languages' at iv. i. 172-8 was not in the play as Kyd origin- 
ally wrote it, and not in the manuscript copy which Allde was using, 
but derived from Jeffes' text. The reference occurs in the passage of 
irregular verse discussed under (iv) above (p. xxxiv) ; the irregularity 
is quite unlike the general standard of prosody in the play, and it 
supports the view that inferior copy was being used. Similarly, it 
was noted that the passage dealing with Hieronimo's silence (which 
also, I believe, derives from Jeffes) is surprisingly deficient in stage- 
directions, in comparison with the wealth of detail provided in 
other parts of the play. It is extremely hard to establish the 'bad- 
ness' of a text without the control of a parallel 'good' text, but if one 
had to choose from The Spanish Tragedy one stage-direction which 
seemed to belong to a 'reported' text, it would be that odd direction, 
'Then he makes signs for a knife to mend his pen.' 

Since, without Jeffes' edition, there is no way of proving that 
I 59 2 was contaminated in three places by inferior copy (in. xv, 
iv. i. 52-199, iv. iv. 153-201), I have not admitted into my text 
what the editorial implications of the theory would dictate. In edit- 
ing a 'bad' text, one can often allow sheer nonsense and irregular 

1 Such things happened. See, for example, Hosley's demonstration that 
Q2 of Romeo and Juliet used both the 'bad' Qi and a distinct MS. as copy. 
Studies in Bibliography, ix (1957), 129-41. 


verse-lining to stand, and, at the other extreme, one can often per- 
mit oneself unusual licence in emendation. I have, however, treated 
the suspect passages as though they were parts of Kyd's MS. (cf. 
my notes to HI. xv. 4-7 and iv. i. 105). 

To sum up : ^^JL^S^od^c^Ly deriving from a manuscript of 
the dramatist which had probably not been worked over for the 
stage. There is some corruption, irregularity, and inconsistency in 
the last act and the last scene of the third act, though the 'affected 
area' is small. The inconsistency in the action, which relates to the 
play-within-the-play and to Hieronimo's behaviour just before his 
death, may suggest that the text contains elements of a revised and 
abridged version of the play. The presence of one unusually corrupt 
scene (in. xv) may suggest the use of inferior copy. If Jeffes' edi- 
tion, which preceded White's, did indeed contain an 'unauthorized' 
text, the inconsistencies and the corruptions could be explained on 
the ground that the printer of 1592 used Jeffes' text as copy to 
supply defective parts of his manuscript copy. * 

Subsequent editions 

The edition printed by Jeffes in 1594 (to be sold by Edward 
White) is known in a single copy only, which is in the University 
Library at Gottingen. It is an untidy and careless reprint of 1592, 
though the punctuation is sometimes improved. Well over 100 new 
readings are introduced. Most of these are careless errors : mis- 
readings, omissions, transpositions, insertions; 21 words mis- 
printed in 1592 receive the obvious corrections, though three mis- 
prints are erroneously corrected (e.g., made for mad, n. ii. 9 read 
may). Nineteen of the new readings are hardly to be attributed to a 
compositor, and suggest that the copy of 1592 used in the printing 
house had been cursorily 'edited' probably in the printing house, 
(a) Two wrong attributions of speeches have been corrected ; (b) a 
half-hearted attack on the corrupt Latin has produced seven cor- 
rections. These corrections in the Latin cannot be from an authori- 
tative source, since so much nonsense is allowed to stand, but they 
cannot (on the other hand) be from the compositor, because if he 
had known enough Latin to conectpoplito mtopoplite, he could not 
have perverted 1592'$ nulla into nalla. (c) A rather pedantic 'im- 


provcment' of grammar is here and there noticeable, the most justi- 
fiable being darkt for darke at i. ii. 54. (J) Five readings remain: 
Shew no brighter is an easy enough correction of Shew brighter (m. 
xiv. 102); Which God amend that made Hieronimo (iv. iv. 120) is a 
beautiful example of the obtuseness of printing-house corrections 
(1592 reads With God amend that mad Hieronimo, sc. 'With "God 
amend that mad Hieronimo". *) ; when for what (in. x. 99) is a similar 
attempt to remove fancied corruption ; hale for hall (iv. iv. 2 1 3) may 
not be a new reading but a compositor's normalizing of spelling (see 
note) ; there is, finally, this new reading at m. xii. 46 : 

To knit a sure inexecrable band 
1 594 To knit a sure inexplicable band 

enigmatic word inexecrable is found in two other places 
where its meaning is not clear (Merchant of Venice ', iv. i. 128, and 
Constable, Diana, viii, Sonnet i). No meaning which ingenuity 
might suggest for the word will satisfactorily fit the context of 1592. 
The nearest one can come would be something like 'that cannot be 
cursed away'. There is a very good case for saying that inexecrable is 
a corrupt reading; the only edition to preserve it is Prouty's. Many 
modern editors since Hawkins have read inextricable', but both in- 
extricable and inexplicable would be understood by an Elizabethan 
as denoting the firmness of a bond (in the context, a link which 
could not be unfastened), and there would seem to be good reason 
for preferring inexplicable, the reading adopted in several recent 
American editions of the play. For inexplicable is a more daring 
emendation than any other in 1594. We have to remember when we 
are dealing with unique copies (as we are with the first three extant 
texts of The Spanish Tragedy) that we have no means of telling what 
press-corrections occurred in the printing of the edition; we do not 
know if, in the copy we possess, some formes have been corrected 
and others not ; we do not know if the succeeding reprint was set up 
from copies containing different arrangements of corrected and un- 
corrected formes. New readings in 1594 may have derived from 
corrected formes of 1592 which do not appear in the British 
Museum copy. Every single variant in 1594 has to be scrutinized 
with this possibility in mind, but it seems either impossible or un- 


necessary to posit a now-lost corrected forme except for the inner 
forme of Sheet G, for the reading inexplicable. Press-correction was 
a capricious business, and the fact that the forme contains no other 
corrections need not be a stumbling-block. There can be no proof, 
but there seems a good chance that inexplicable is an authoritative 
reading, coming from a corrected forme of 1592 which is not in the 
one surviving copy; the soundness of the reading, and the good 
chance it has of being authoritative, argue most strongly for its 
adoption in preference to inexecrable or inextricable. 

On 13 August 1599, Jeffes assigned his rights in The Spanish 
Tragedy to William White, who brought out an edition in that year. 
*599 is a straightforward reprint of 1594, and entirely dependent on 
it. 1 The printing is more refined than that of the two preceding edi- 
tions, proper names and stage-directions are carefully italicized, 
open parentheses are closed, much new punctuation is added (not 
always happily). It is nevertheless an unintelligent reprint: some 
obvious corrections are made but lapses of 1594 are often repeated 
(wroth for worth.> for example) or corrupted still more deeply; the 
confusion in foreign tongues is further confounded. There are 
erroneous corrections of misprints, and several needless and foolish 
'improvements' euer-killing for neuer-killing^ for example (i. i. 
69). The general quality of the reprint is such that it is impossible to 
pay respect to one variant reading accepted in every edition which 
I have seen, sc. hate for heat at in. i. 4 (see note). Since the original 
reading is sound, hate must be a misreading of copy. 

By 14 August 1600, the copyright in the play had passed to 
Thomas Pavier, who brought out in 1602 an edition printed by W. 
White, 'Newly corrected, amended, and enlarged with new addi- 
tions of the Painters part, and others, as it hath of late been diuers 
times acted'. 1602 provides us with the sole authoritative text of the 
famous Additions, but it is most important to notice that, apart 
from the Additions, 1602 is a poor and slavish reprint of 1599. It is 
true that four stage-directions are added : Draw his sword, and Offer 

1 Except that 75^9 repeats 1592*5 erroneous poplito (i. ii. 13) which had 
been corrected by 1594 to poplite. Since there is no other evidence that a 
copy of 1592 was used in the printing of 1599) the repetition of the error 
would seem to be a coincidence. 


to kill him. [C3r], They breake in, and hold Hieronimo. [L4v], He 
bites out his tongue. (Mir); that an important reordering of mis- 
placed lines occurs at iv. i. 185-6 ; that some of 1594'$ corruptions of 
1592 are put right. But all these improvements could easily be made 
without reference to a manuscript or to 1592, and the bovine way in 
which 1602 repeats the errors of 1599, and perpetrates errors of its 
own, does not encourage us to think that 1602 was (except for the 
Additions) based on anything other than a copy of 1599 which had 
received some meagre and desultory 'editing'. (Concerning the 
copy for the Additions, see below, pp. Ixii-lxv.) 

The remaining editions of the seventeenth century need not 
detain us (1603, 1610-11, 1615, 1618, 1623, 1633). They are 
described in Greg's Bibliography., the Malone Society's edition of 
160 2> and Schick's second redaction. Each edition was based on its 
predecessor, except that 1610-11 was based chiefly on 1602. 1 To set 
against the expected textual degeneration, there was some gain over 
the years and several received readings were established; these are 
indicated in the textual apparatus, but it will be understood that 
they do not have any greater authority than emendations made by 
a modern editor. The quarto of 1615 is often known as the first 
'Illustrated' edition, because of its famous woodcut of the murder 
of Horatio; the title now runs The Spanish Tragedie: or, Hieronimo 
is madagaine. (See Frontispiece.) 

Modern editions begin with Dodsley, who printed the play in the 
second volume of his Select Collection of Old Plays (1744) ; he knew 
only the quarto of 1633. The credit of being the first editor in any 
real sense goes to T. Hawkins, who, in the second volume of The 
Origin of the English Drama (1773), produced a text based on 1592:, 
many of his emendations have stood the test of time. The reissues of 
Dodsley, by Reed (i 780), Collier (i 825), Hazlitt (i 874), mark a con- 
tinued improvement, but, although Hazlitt went back to 1592 for 
himself, there is no basic change in editorial approach from that of 

1 Schick's confident claim that / 603 stands outside the main line of trans- 
mission is belied by his own collation. He claimed that 1610-11 went back 
to 1602 and ignored the unique readings of 1603. But, as MSR (1602) 
points out, six substantial readings of 1603 are incorporated in i6io-u> 
and, moreover, 76/5 independently adopts some more of 1603'$ . The biblio- 
graphical position is curious. 


Hawkins. In 1897, J. M. Manly (in vol. 11 of his Specimens of the 
Pre-Shaksperean Drama) made the first attempt to provide a critical 
'old-spelling' edition ; it profits from some conjectural readings by 
Kittredge, and Manly's very conservative policy did much to re- 
establish the readings of 1592^ unfortunately, the critical apparatus 
contains some bewildering ghost-readings from 1592. Manly's 
edition appeared too late for J. Schick to make use of it in his 
excellent modernized edition of 1898 for The Temple Dramatists. 

In 1901, by one of those common coincidences of scholarship, 
there appeared two editions of distinction : F. S. Boas', in the stan- 
dard edition of Kyd's works, and Schick's second and fuller edition. 
It is a great pity that Boas (who does not seem to have known of 
Manly's edition) should not have been able to incorporate Schick's 
findings in his own work, for Schick's edition (published as vol. xix 
of Litterarhistorische Forschungen) is now little known and rare. 
Both editions preserve /jp^'s spellings, though punctuation is 
much altered. Schick's edition is a careful piece of scholarship, and 
its account of the early texts, in the Introduction and in the Colla- 
tion, is to be given very high praise, though it is not perfect. Boas 
also collates all the early editions, though there are some omissions 
and errors ; his literary commentary is much more full than that of 
Schick. Any editor of The Spanish Tragedy is bound to acknow- 
ledge his great indebtedness to Schick and Boas. 

There have been many editions of The Spanish Tragedy in an- 
thologies of Elizabethan drama, particularly in the United States. 
Some are entirely derivative, some have gone back to the original 
text. I have found the edition by C. F. Tucker Brooke and N. B. 
Paradise in English Drama., 1580-1642 (1933) extremely sound and 
sensible. Mention may also be made of A. K. Mcllwraith's edition 
for the World's Classics volume, Five Elizabethan Tragedies (1938), 
and C. T. Prouty's for the Crofts Classics (195 1). 

Reprints of the two authoritative texts of 1592 and 1602 have 
appeared in the Malone Society's publications. That of 1602 was 
prepared under the direction of W. W. Greg in consultation with 
F. S. Boas in 1925; that of 1592 by Greg and D. Nichol Smith in 
1949. The introduction to the 1592 edition is sounder as regards the 
history of the publication of the play. The List of Irregular, Doubt- 


ful, and Variant Readings is not complete, but in spite of this, and 
of a ghost-reading in the 1592 reprint (see my note to in. x. 75), 
these two reprints are invaluable. 

There is also a concordance to the works of Kyd, compiled by 
C. Crawford, and published as volume 15 of Bang's Materialien. 

The Present Edition 

In accordance with the practice in this series, the spelling in the 
present edition is modern. A few archaic forms will be found, the 
general rule being that such a form should be distinct from the 
Elizabethan form which eventually produced our modern form. A 
few examples are leese, welding (wielding, see note to I. iv. 35), wan 
(won), holp, scinder'd (sundered), strand. I have tried to excise 
forms which are mere spelling variants, but sentiment has triumph- 
ed on one or two occasions : for example, recompt, quire, andfauchon. 
murder and murther are both found in the copy-text; I have regu- 
larized to murder. Though the practice can hardly be called modern- 
ization, I have abbreviated the unstressed final syllable of the past 
forms of weak verbs into -*<f , whether the contraction is made in the 
copy-text or not; where the metre demands the accented -ed, and 
/jpj? prints the contracted form, I give the expanded form and note 
the original reading in the Textual Notes. 

There is a good deal in the original of what appears to our eyes to 
be irregularity in agreement between subject and verb. I have not 
modernized Elizabethan syntax nor attempted to improve Kyd's 
English. Only on the very rare occasions when I could not relate a 
false concord to Elizabethan practice or to a confused sentence have 
I emended; such emendations are, of course, recorded. Kyd's occa- 
sional use of the third person singular form for second person singu- 
lar in the present tense has been allowed to stand without comment 
(e.g., ii. v. 31, in. viii. 14, in. ix. 6, iv. i. 2, iv. ii. 33). Mislineation 
has been corrected (and the correction noted) but no attempt has 
been made to force certain passages of irregular verse into penta- 
meters (e.g., in iv. i). 

The stage-directions of the original have been preserved, some 
very few modifications and minor additions being made for the sake 
of absolute clarity (e.g., I. ii. 131, i. iii. 90, n. ii. 6 and 17, iv. ii. 38). 


A few stage-directions from 1602, offering some evidence of near- 
contemporary staging, are added. These., and all other departures 
from 1592, are clearly indicated by the use of square brackets. Pre- 
servation of the original Entrances is at the cost of a little inconsis- 
tency in the naming of characters ; there is no chance of uncertainty, 
and all speech-headings are normalized throughout; the Dramatis 
Personae gives all the names given to each character. The rather 
unusual division of the play into four acts only has been maintained 
(see note at head of in. viii). Scene-numbers are given in square 
brackets at the beginning of each scene, but no 'places' are indi- 
cated: 1592 is not divided into scenes. 

Though it may seem paradoxical to say so, the punctuation in 
this edition is a complete re-punctuation based on the pointing of 
1592. I do not believe that Elizabethan punctuation goes well with 
a modernized text; it is illogical to discard spellings which are 
interesting and give the reader little trouble, and preserve a punctu- 
ation which can be highly misleading and which is (in any given 
play) rarely loyal to any one principle of pointing. To preserve the 
original punctuation in an old-spelling text is a different matter, 
but with modern spelling the reader's attention is lulled, or directed 
away from the old conventions, and he constantly trips up. An 
editor's first duty is to present a clear and readable text, and piety 
towards the sense of the original is more important than piety to- 
wards a difficult punctuation, the source of which may be obscure. 
Yet a big problem remains. For very often there are traces of what 
appears to be 'rhetorical' or histrionic pointing, which at least sug- 
gests the actors' patterns of delivery; one is reluctant to remove 
these traces, and one is also quite certain that it will be disastrous to 
the flow of the verse to chop up the lines into grammatical units on 
a principle of pointing which is now perhaps obsolescent. In respect 
of The Spanish Tragedy, a decision to re-punctuate to some extent 
is unavoidable; the punctuation of 1592 is inconsistent, arbitrary, 
and often absurd. One has a strong impression that there is a blend 
of two men's punctuation : the one, deriving from the copy, being 
extremely light, but often rhetorically interesting ; the other, deriv- 
ing from the compositor, heavy, cumbersome, and unintelligent. 
Perhaps one would not go far wrong in saying that medial puntcu- 


ation comes from the copy, whereas the compositor is responsible 
for punctuation at the ends of lines. In re-punctuating, I have 
steered a middle course between Elizabethan standards and a too- 
strict grammatical punctuation. I have corrected obviously erro- 
neous punctuation; I have preserved the original where there is no 
danger of misunderstanding; I have modernized, on as light a sys- 
tem of pointing as possible, where there is ambiguity, or a possi- 
bility of misunderstanding. What has been done may seem too 
modern to some readers ; but I hope that it will be found faithful to 
the sense and rhythm of the verse. 

In the critical apparatus I have tried to give significant informa- 
tion only, and to give it rapidly and clearly. The purpose of the tex- 
tual notes is to record (i) all substantial departures from 1592^ (ii) 
important emendations and alternative readings which I have not 
accepted. There are thus two kinds of standard note : 

(i) A B CD 

oblivta] Hawkins; oblirnia 1592 
writ] Manly; write 1592 

in which A reading of present text, B = source of reading, C = 
reading of (D) 1592. 

(ii) A B C D 

Nor ferried] 1592; O'er-ferried Schick 
reveng'd] 1592; reuenge 1623 

in which A = reading of present text, B = a note that this is the 
reading of the original text, C a rejected emendation, D = source 
of rejected emendation. 

Additional citation in either of these standard forms should not 
present difficulty, e.g. : 

inexplicable] 1594; inexecrable 1592; inextricable Hawkins. 

in which the last item is a rejected alternative to the emendation 

New readings are marked this ed. ; readings suggested but not 
inserted into a text by the originator are marked conj. (conjectured). 
Readings from the text are occasionally given without source, e.g. : 

cited] scited 15,92 


Attention is here called to the form of the original in a reading sub- 
stantially the same. It is occasionally necessary to cite original 

haul] hall 1592; hale 1594 

A few 'plain language' entries should not cause difficulty. Changes 
in punctuation are only recorded when the new punctuation alters 
the sense of the original. Obvious misprints in 1592 are not record- 
ed (e.g., wodres for wordes). 

No attempt is made in the collation to provide either the history 
of the text or something which looks like the history of the text. The 
material is available elsewhere, and I cannot think that any reader 
will regret the absence of a jungle of worthless readings from the 
early editions (after 1592) and bright and unnecessary normaliza- 
tions from the eighteenth-century editions. No attempt is made to 
name the editors who have supported or rejected any particular 
emendation (except for the originator, of course): This counting of 
heads, as though there were a democratic election in progress, 
serves no purpose. If a particular editor's support or rejection of a 
reading is important, the information will be found in the note dis- 
cussing the passage. The main purpose of the textual apparatus in 
the present edition is to make clear the relation of the text to the 
text of 1592, and to record the source of all substantial departures 
from 1592. 


No source for The Spanish Tragedy has been found. Attempts have 
been made, however, to identify the sources of different parts of the 
play. The plot of the play-within-the-play is taken (though the con- 
clusion is much altered) from H. Wotton's Courtlie Controversie of 
Cupids Cautels (1578), or from Wotton through the anonymous 
Soliman and Perseda; see note to iv. i. 108. I have already argued 
that it is most unlikely that the 'political' background of the play 
is based upon the relations between Spain and Portugal ca. 1580 
(see above, p. xxiv). Lorenzo's treatment of Pedringano seemed 
to R. S. Forsythe 1 to echo a section of Greene's Planetomachia 

), 78-84. 


(1585) but the stories are not at all close. F. Bowers has brought for- 
ward many analogues to Lorenzo's behaviour to his accomplice, 
Pedringano. 1 One of these may well be a source. The Copie of a 
Leter . . . Concerning . . . some proceedings of the Erie of Leycester 
(1584 by R. Parsons ?) accuses Leicester of ridding himself of 
accomplices to his nefarious activities. It is told how one Gates was 
imprisoned and appealed to Leicester, who sent him good assur- 
ances while hastening his death. Gates threatens to reveal his 
master's secrets ; he is hanged. Bowers points out that 'Leycesters 
Ghost' (of unknown date), appended to Leycesters Commonwealth 
(1641), which reprints The Copie of a Leter., is a retelling of Gates's 
story which seems to make a definite link between Lorenzo and 
Leicester, e.g., 'For his reprivall (like a crafty Fox) / 1 sent no par- 
don, but an empty Box.' 

But, while little has been found to indicate how much of his plot 
Kyd borrowed, we have much evidence of incidental borrowings 
for various purposes. Kyd's debt to Seneca needs no documenta- 
tion here. 2 It ranges from tags and sentences to the machinery of a 
ghost, lusting for revenge and, indeed, much of the atmosphere of 
revenge; Andrea's Prologue is thoroughly Senecan and so are the 
more lurid horrors (reported in Seneca, of course); it may well be 
because of Seneca's example (especially in the Hyppolitus) that Kyd 
was able to create the character of a bold passionate woman like 
Bel-jrjaperia. Robert Gamier, himself influenced by Seneca, was 
another from whom Kyd borrowed much, both generally and verb- 
ally /it was Cornelie which seems to have impressed Kyd most. 
Virgil gave Kyd his account of the underworld (though it was well 
established as a literary convention) and scraps of his Latin com- 
positions. Other borrowings are recorded in the commentary.] But 
on the whole Kyd does not seem to have been an excessively deri- 
vative writer; if a source for his main plot turns up, it may well 
appear that Kyd's originality in ordering his material is more re- 
markable than his powers as a copyist. 

1 Harvard Studies and Notes, xiii (1931), 241-9. 

2 See, e.g., H. B. Charlton in Works of Sir William Alexander (1921); 
J. W. Cunliffe, The Influence of Seneca on Elizabethan Tragedy (1893). 
An unsuccessful attempt to deny Senecan influence is Howard Baker's 
Induction to Tragedy (1939). 



One of the most popular and influential of plays in its own day, The 
Spanish Tragedy became the object of affectionate derision in the 
succeeding generations- or of derision without affection, as with 
Jonson. Such elements of the play as Hieronimo's outcries and the 
sallies of his madness, the elaborately patterned verse, Andrea's 
sombre prologue, were constantly parodied and guyed by Jacobean 
and Caroline dramatists. 1 This attention to the play, however 
scornful, shows the hold which Kyd's work had ; a hold demonstrat- 
ed by the successive editions of the play, and the desire to keep it 
fresh by adding new scenes. 2 It was looked on as an extravagant and 
crude work, and yet a bold work, holding a specialjgositipn as the 
bestithat could be done in an age which had not learned to produce 
a polished play. And it may be said that the attitude has stuck, and 
still prevails. Once the play had sunk into oblivion, after the mid- 
seventeenth century, it was not rehabilitated in the Romantic 
period, as so many other 'forgotten' plays were. Lamb (1808) was 
interested only in the Additions : he gave the 'Painter's Scene' in 
his Specimens of English Dramatic Poets and remarked that these 
scenes were 'the very salt of the old play (which without them is but 
a caput mortuum, such another piece of flatness as Locrine),'.(With 
the growth of evolutionary criticism, historians of drama found the 
play a seminal work in tragedy and the revenge play, in spite pf the 
crudity which they did not gloss over. Mild merits of various kinds 
were proposed by various critics, chiefly skill in maintainingjus- 
pense^and inworjgngout a compUca^^^7ThereTiav?been wide 
differences ^o^inioiiorrKyd's powers of characterization. But 
although there has been general recognition of Kyd's unusual 
ability in contriving a 'theatrically effective play, no one has made a 
serious claim that Kyd has much to offer as a poet or tragic drama- 
tist jit is significant that the most exhaustive and sympathetic study 

1 Some imitations and parodies are cited in the Notes. See Boas, pp. xci- 
xcix, for a representative collection. 

2 Not to speak of the anecdote told by Braithwaite in 1631 and retold by 
Prynne (see Schick 1 , p. xxix) of the unregenerate old woman who, on her 
deathbed, kept crying out, 'Hieronimo, Hieronimo, O let me see Hiero- 
nimo acted!' 


of The Spanish Tragedy, the monograph by Biesterfeldt published 
in 19365 is a study in structure (Die dramatische Technik Thomas 
Kyds). A standard view of Kyd is Gregory Smith's summing-up in 
The Cambridge History of English Literature (vol. v, 1910, p. 163): 

The interest of Kyd's work is almost exclusively historical. Like 
Marlowe's, it takes its place in the development of English tragedy 
by revealing new possibilities and offering a model in technique; 
unlike Marlowe's, it does not make a second claim upon us as 
great literature. The historical interest lies in the advance which 
Kyd's plays show in cojistructionj in the manipu}atiqn of plpt 3 and 
in effective situation. Kyd is the first to discover the bearing of epi- 
sode and of the 'movement' of the story on characterisation, and 
the first to give the audience and reader the hint of the develop- 
ment of character which follows from this interaction. In other 
words, he is the first^English^ dramatist who writes dramatically^ 

The historical position of Kyd has been the chief concern of. 
criticism, and that is one reason why the brief account of the play 
which follows avoids questions of what Kyd borrowed and what he 
gave to others. Another reason i^ that our uncertainty about tfie 
date of the play makes it extremely difficult to mark Kyd's place in 
a fast-moving development of the drama. Was Lorenzo the first 
great Machiavellian villain? Did Kyd invent the Elizabethan 
revenge play ? Yet Kyd's play is a mo^tjngcniou^.arjid successful 
blending of the old and the new in drama^ and the fact that a com- 
parative mSKocITs~not follcrwed here will not, I hope, obscure the 
obvious point that no good verdict can be made on Kyd's achieve- 
ment which does not take into account what was achieved in plays 
written or performed at the same period. 

he Spanish Tragedy is a^ky^boutthe^a^^ipnforjretribution > 
and vengeance shapes the entire action. Revenge himself appears as 
a character near the beginning of the play, a servant of the spiritual 
powers, indicating what a man may find in the patterns of existence 
which are woven for him. Retribution is not only the demand of 
divine justice but also a condescension to human wants. Andrea 
seeks blood for his own blood; though he died in war, Balthazar 
killed him in a cowardly and dishonourable fashion, and not in fair 
fight (i. iv. 19-26, 72-5; i. ii. 73). The gods look with favour on 
Andrea and are prepared, by destroying his destroyer, to bring 


him peace. When all is completed, he exults : e Ay, nowmy hopes have 
enSmtheir effects, /When blood and sorrow finish my desires . . . Ay, 
these were spectacles to please my soul!' Men lust for retribution, 
and the gods, assenting to this idea of satisfaction as only justice, can 
and will grant it^lMarlcoye never wrote a less Christian play than 
The Spanish Tragedy: the hate of a wronged'man can speak out 
witHout check of mercy or reason ; when a sin is committed, no-one 
talks of forgiveness j the word 'mercy' does not occur in the play.J 

Once Proserpine has granted that Balthazar shall die (i. i. 81-9), 
everything that happens in the play serves to fulfil her promise. To 
bring about what they have decreed, the gods use the desires and 
strivings of men. Hieronimo and Bel-imperia and Lorenzo, as they 
struggle and plot to bring about their own happiness, are only the 
tools of destiny. The sense of a fore-ordained end is strongly con- 
veyed by Kydfby his constant use of dramatic irony. The char- 
acters always have mistaken notions about what their actions are 
leading them towards. Bel-imperia believes that 'second love will 
further her revenge', but only, it turns out, through the murder of 
her second love. As Horatio and Bel-imperia speak of consum- 
mating their love, they are overheard by those who are plotting to de- 
stroy it. And as the unwitting lovers go off the stage, the King enters 
(ii. iii) complacently planning the marriage of Bel-imperia with Bal- 
thazar. By the very means he chooses to make his crime secret, the 
liquidating of his accomplices, Lorenzo betrays the crime to Hiero- 
nimo. Pedringano is secure in his belief in the master who is about 
to have him killed. The King and the court applaud the acting in a 
play in which the deaths are real. And there are very many other ex- 
amples. Ina wa& the play is built upon irony, upon the ignorance of 
the characters that they are being used to fulfil the decree of the god*^ 

The play seems to move in a rather leisurely way from the entry of 
Andrea's Ghost to the killing of Horatio, the deed which opens the 
play's chief interest, Hieronimo's revenge. There is the description 
of the underworld by Andrea, two long reports of the battle in 
which Andrea was killed (one by the General to the King, and one 
by Horatio to Bel-imperia), Hieronimo's 'masque', and the intro- 
duction of the sub-plot concerning Villuppo's traducement of 
Alexandro at the Portuguese court. These prolix early scenes 


should not be dismissed without taking into account Kyd's use of 
the long speech in general throughout the play. Two recent and 
most interesting brief studies of the play's language have put Kyd's 
'antiquated technique' in a new light. Both Moody E. Prior and 
Wolfgang Clemen 1 demonstrate how Kyd converts the techniques 
and conventions of an academic and literary drama with consider- 
able skill to new dramatic ends: the long speech becomes more 
dramatic in itself and is used more dramatically. A good example 
used by both critics is that the most elaborately stylized rhetoric 
issues from the mouth of Balthazar, and these studied exercises in 
self-pity are used as a means of characterization; the more practical 
people, like Lorenzo and Bel-imperia, are impatient of his round- 
about utterance (e.g., I. iv. 90-8, n. i. 29, n. i. 1 34). Clemen has par- 
ticularly valuable things to say about how Kyd controls the tempo 
of the play through his use of the long speech^ and how purposed 
fully he knits together (each mode serving its own function) the 
long speech and dialogue; a long speech, for example, will intro- 
duce, or sum up, issues which are to be or have been set out in dia- 
logue. But although Clemen (pp. 94-5), like Biesterfeldt before him 
(pp. 65-6), can find the early scenes in some measure artistically 
justified, and an improvement on what Kyd's predecessors achiev- 
ed in long 'reports', 2 it is the very absence of that artistry which 
Kyd shows in his handling of the long speech in the later parts of the 
play which makes the early scenes seem so laboured. And, long* 
speeches apart, it is very hard to justify the sub-plot. The Portu- 
guese court could have been introduced more economically and thrf 
relevance of theme is very slight. Few readers of The Spanish 
Tragedy resent the clamant appeals and laments of Hieronimo and 
the rest once the play is under way, but few readers fail to find the 
early scenes tedious, and I think the common reaction is justified. 
It is as though Kyd began to write a literary Senecan play, and, even 
as he wrote, learned to handle his material in more dextrous and 
dramatic fashion. 

1 The Language of Tragedy (1947), pp. 46-59; Die Tragddie vor Shake- 
speare (1955)5 PP- 91-102, 238-47. 

2 For example, what seems to be the tiresome quadruple repetition of 
Balthazar's role in the battle is in fact the attempt to present the same event 
through different eyes. I am uncertain that Kyd intended this effect. 


But the opening of the play will seem far more dilatory than it 
really is to those who take it that the real action starts only with 
the death of Horatio. 1 It is Balthazar's killing of Andrea which 
begins the action the news being given by the ghost of the victim. 
The avenging of Andrea is, as we have seen, the supernatural cause 
of all that follows; but in terms of plot, too, or of direct, human 
causes, all flows from Andrea's death. For Andrea's mistress 
wishes to revenge herself on the slayer of her lover. Bel-imperia is 
a woman of strong will, independent spirit, and not a little courage 
(witness her superb treatment of her brother after her release, first 
furious and then sardonic, making Lorenzo acknowledge defeat; 
HI. x. 24-105); she is also libidinous. Kyd has successfully man- 
oeuvred round a ticklish necessity of the plot (that Bel-imperia and 
Horatio should be lovers) by making Bel-imperia a certain kind of 
woman; what has to be done, is credibly done, naturally done. 
There is no question about her relations with Andrea (see I. i. 10, 
n. i. 47, in. x. 54-5, in. xiv. 111-12); and, with rtoratio, she does 
not appear to be planning an early wedding; the two are entering 
upon an illicit sexual relationship, and it is Bel-imperia who is the 
wooer (n. i. 85, n. ii. 32-52). 

But, not to anticipate, Bel-imperia, while wishing to avenge 
Andrea, finds herself conceiving a passion for Horatio (i. iv. 60-1). 
She is momentarily ashamed of her lightness and tries to rationalize 
her affection as being a sign of her love for Andrea (62-3) ; then she 
repents and decides that revenge must come before she is off with 
the old love and on with the new (64-5) and then (triumphant 
ingenuity!) realizes that to love Horatio will in fact help her 
revenge against Balthazar, since it will slight the prince, who is a 
suitor for her love (66-8). So character andjplQt are marn^^ndjiie 
action drives forward on jts twinjustons of lov^ajodjcevenge. 

Bel-imperia's scheme brings about her lover's death. Balthazar 
has new cause to hate the man who took him prisoner, but his hate 
would be nothing were it not given power by the hate of Lorenzo, 
whose fierce pride has twice been wounded by the lowly-born 
Horatio : once over the capturing of Balthazar, and now in his 

1 E.g., Bowers, pp. 66-8, 71 ; W. Farnham, Medieval Heritage of Eliza" 
bethan Tragedy, pp. 393-4; but cf. Biesterfeldt, especially pp. 50-60. 


sister's preferring Horatio to his royal friend. Bel-imperia's re- 
vengeful defiance brings about the simple reaction of counter- 
revenge the murder of Horatio in the bower. Horatio is hanged 
and the fourth of the interlocked revenge-schemes begins: 
Andrea's the first, then Bel-imperia's, then Lorenzo's and Bal- 
thazar's, and finally Hieronimo'si Kyd may seem to take some time 
to reach this most important of his revenge-schemes, but he_chose 
to set layer within layer, wheels within wheels, revenge within 
reverigeJT he action is a unity (the Portuguese scenes excepted), and 
in engineering the deaths of Balthazar and Lorenzo, Hieronimo 
satisfies not only himself, in respect of Horatio, but Bel-imperia in 
respect of Horatio and Andrea, and Andrea in respect of himself. 
And Hieronimo's efforts to avenge his dead son are the means by 
which the gods avenge Andrea. The presence of the Ghost of 
Andrea and Revenge upon the stage throughout the play, with 
their speeches in the Choruses, continually reminds us of this fact, 
which is indeed so central to the meaning of the play that it is 
astonishing that it is occasionally overlooked.^ 

Hieronimo's motives for revenge are several, (i) Revenge will 
bring him emotional relief; (ii) it is a duty; (iii) a life for a life is the 
law of nature, and (iv) is, in society, the legal penalty for murder. 

Hieronimo's first remark about revenge is to tell Isabella that if 
only he knew the murderer, his grief would diminish, Tor in 
revenge my heart would find relief.' The therapeutic virtues of 
homicide may seem doubtful, but Hieronimo insists : 

Then will I joy amidst my discontent, 

Till then my sorrow never shall be spent. (n. v. 55-6) 

Closely associated with this odd and selfish cue for revenge is 
idea of revenge as an obHgatiojpi. We are to imagine (because it is 
haf3Iy smte^explTcitly) that Horatio's peace in the world beyond 
depends, like Andrea's, upon his obtaining the life of his murderer 
as a recompense for, and a cancellation of, his own death. For 
Hieronimo to assume the duty of securing this price is a tribute to 
his son and a measure of his love : 

Dear was the life of my beloved son, 

And of his death behoves me be reveng'd. (in. ii. 44-5) 


Hieronimo takes a vow to avenge Horatio and, of course, the 
notion of a vow to be fulfilled, with the bloody napkin as a symbol of 
it, provides a good deal of the play's dramatic force, particularly as 
regards Hieronimo's sense of insufficiency, failure, or delay. But, it 
may be noted, delay itself is not an issue in the play. 1 That Hiero- 
nimo's conscience should accuse him for being tardy (in. xiii. 135) 
is a measure only of the stress he is under and the difficulties he 
faces, and of the depth of his obligation; that Bel-imperia and Isa- 
bella should speak of delay (in. ix and iv. ii. 30) is a measure only of 
their understandable impatience and does not mean that Hieronimo 
could have acted more quickly. It is the sense of delay which is real, 
qnd not delayjtsclf, Hieronimo does everything possible as quickly 
as possible. 

The idea of revenge as a personal satisfaction for wrongs endured 
is enlarged into the idea of revenge as punishment, a universal 
moral satisfaction for crime committed, or the demands of divine 
justice. Though Hieronimo's wrongs are personal, he sees his 
claims for satisfaction as the claims of the Order of Things./The 
mythology chosen to represent the governance of the world is 
rather muddled in The Spanish Tragedy, paganism sits uneasily 
with something else; but the gods (whoever they are) hate mur- 
der and will, through human agents, punish the murderer. There is 
morality among the gods, or so Hieronimo (somewhat anxiously) 

The heavens are just, murder cannot be hid. (11. v. 57) 

If this incomparable murder thus 
Of mine, but now no more my son, 
Shall unreveaPd and unrevenged pass, 
How should we term your dealings to be just, 
If you unjustly deal with those that in your justice trust ? 

(in. ii. 7-11) 

Murder, O bloody monster God forbid 
A fault so foul should scape unpunished, (ill. vi. 95-6) 

1 Janet Spens (Elizabethan Drama, pp. 70-1) thinks it is, and that 
Hieronimo, 'being very old, lacks the virile courage and fears death' ; the 
play shows how he overcomes his weakness. Boas (p. xxxv), claiming that 
delay is the theme of the later acts, believes that Kyd's cardinal weakness is 
failure to provide 'an adequate psychological analysis of the Marshal's 
motives for this delay*. 


When things go wrong with Hieronimo, he pictures himself beat- 
ing at the windows of the brightest heavens, soliciting for justice 
and revenge (in. vii. 13-14). When things go well, he has the sense 
of divine support. But the nexus between Hieronimo's plans for 
revenge and the workings of providence is a somewhat controversial 
matter, and must be discussed with other facts in mind. 

Punishment of murder is the course of human law, and Hiero- 
nimo's revenge is to be within the framework of law. Yet he goes 
about to discover the murderer in a manner curious to modern eyes. 
He sees it as his personal duty to find the criminal, and he conceals 
the crime. But this is no usurpation of the law; there is no C.I.D. to 
call in and he must act himself. 1 The secrecy is to be explained by 
Hieronimo's fear that someone is contriving against his family so 
that it behoves him to move warily. Bel-imperia's letter seems to 
confirm his suspicions ; nothing could be less credible than its news, 
and, should there be a plot against his family, what more suitable 
means to entrap him than to get him to lay an accusation for murder 
against the King's own nephew (in. ii. 34-43) ? He will find out 
more, still keeping his mission secret (in. ii. 48-52). Confirming 
evidence comes via Pedringano, and Pedringano's arrest and pun- 
ishment are an important accompaniment of Hieronimo's vendetta. 
For here is an orthodox piece of police- work, as it were. Pedringano 
commits murder, he is arrested flagrante delicto by the watch, tried 
by a court, and executed. There is law in Spain, and, once a mur- 
derer is known, he can be brought to account by due process of law. 
Hieronimo's anguish at the trial of Pedringano is not because for 
him justice has to be secured by different means, but because the 
course of justice which is available cannot be started since he, the 
very judge, cannot name the murderer of his son. It is not the least 
part of Hieronimo's design to indulge in Bacon's "wild justice' ; it 
does not enter his head to 'put the law out of office'. "~ 

But, now that Hieronimo has Pedringano's letter and the clinch- 
ing evidence which he needed, he may proceed to call in the aid of 
law and get justice. To lay an accusation, however, proves to be the 
heaviest ofHieronimo's difficulties Thejprotractcd battle of wits, 

1 See Bowers, pp. 7-8 3 for the necessity at this time for the nearest rela- 
tive of the victim to lay an appeal or file an indictment. 


between Hieronimo and Lorenzo (so excellently handled by Kyd 
and so unfortunately obscured in the Additions) comes to a head, 
and, more powerful obstacle still, just as Hieronimo is ready to call 
down punishment on the criminals, the strain on his mind begins to 
tell, and his madness begins. The unsettling of Hieronimo's mind 
is well done; it has been prepared for long ago, in Hieronimo's 
excessive pride in his son when he was alive, and it is made more 
acceptable in that Isabella ('psychologically' unimportant as a 
character) has already been shown to be going out of her mind with 
grief. Hieronimo's frenzy makes Lorenzo's task of keeping him 
from the King easy ; Hieronimo really prevents himself from secur- 
ing justice. Thwarted, he plots to be his own avenger. 1 

At this point, we may bring in again the question of divine justice. 
Momentarily, and most awkwardly, Jehovah assumes a role in the 
play; Hieronimo remembers that the Lord says, 'Vengeance is 
mine, I will repay' (HI. xiii. i and note). He acknowledges that 
'mortal men may not appoint their time' (1. 5). But since 'justice is 
exiled from the earth' he persuades himself that private vengeance 
is justified. Bowers (pp. 71 and 77-82) is of the opinion that the 
play condemns Hieronimo for taking it upon himself to be the 
executioner instead of waiting for God's will to be done, and that 
'Kyd is deliberately veering his audience against Hieronimo.' The 
problem is far from simple. It has been seen that the gods of the 
play like revenge. More important, after the Vindicta mihi speech, 
Hieronimo is convinced that his private course is congruent with 
the morality of heaven. When he is joined by Bel-imperia, he inter- 
prets his good fortune as a sign of the approval of the gods, and feels 
that he is a minister of providence : 

Why then, I see that heaven applies our drift, 

And all the saints do sit soliciting 

For vengeance on those cursed murderers, (iv. i. 32-4) 

'Moody Prior (Language of Tragedy, p. 57) sees this outcry as a 
turning point in the drama. 'Private vengeance is now identified 

1 The ignorance of the King about the disappearance of Horatio is best 
not inquired into. The plot demands it and the play shall have it. But, by 
this stage in the play, everyone else seems to know what has happened, from 
Hieronimo's Deputy (in. vi. 13-14) to the Duke of Castile (in. xiv. 88). 



with the justice of heaven, and the torment of his mind is over. In 
the episodes which follow, he is calculating and self-possessed.* 
This seems a most sensible view, but the question must be asked, Is 
Hieronimo deluding himself in supposing he now has divine sup- 
port ? To answer { y es> to this question must suggest that there is a 
clash in the play between the dominant pagan morality and a Christ- 
ian morality. The only overt introduction of the Christian morality 
on revenge is in the brief allusion to St Paul; where, in other parts 
of the play, the mythology for Providence seems to be Christian 
as in the passage just quoted, with its reference to heaven and 
saints we almost certainly are faced with inconsistency and con- 
fusion on Kyd's part and not a dualism. We could, indeed, make no 
sense out of a dualism which meant that every reference to powers 
below was a reference to evil and every reference to powers above 
a reference to good. The clash, if it exists, must be between the 
ideas which Hieronimo has and ideas not expressed in the play, 
except in the Vindicta mihi speech. In other words, the argument 
must be that Hieronimo is condemned because the Elizabethans 
condemned revenge, however strongly the play's gods support him. 
But what an Elizabethan might think of Hieronimo's actions in 
real life may be irrelevant to the meaning of The Spanish Tragedy. 
Hieronimo may still be a sympathetic hero in spite of Elizabethan 
indignation against private revenge. The cry of Vindicta mihi, and 
the pause it gives Hieronimo may be more of a dramatic than a 
moral point. Hieronimo, robbed of the law's support, rocks for a 
moment in indecision before determining that at all costs the mur- 
derers must die. The indecision, and then the determination, are 
dramatically most important and effective ; but the cause of the 
indecision (the inappropriate promptings of Christian ethics) is not 
important. Kyd has won sympathy for Hieronimo in his sufferings ; 
there is no sign, at the end of the third and the beginning of the 
fourth Act, that Kyd now wishes the audience to change their 
sympathetic attitude, even though orthodoxy would condemn the 
private executioner. Kydg^ates^^d^ucc^sfiilly sustains, his own 
world ofreyenge^ and attitudes are sanctioned which might wellbe 
deplored in real life, [the moral worl3 of the play is a make-believe 
world ; the gods are make-believe gods.] In this make-believe world, 


the private executioner may be sympathetically portrayed and his 
Senecan gods may countenance his actions. And all this may be, 
'however strongly Kyd himself disapproved of private vengeance. 
I remarked that The^S^amsh^Tra^edy was an un.-Christian play, and 
go it is. But it is not written to advocate a system of ethics, or to 
oppose one. If its moral attitudes are mistaken for the 'real life' atti- 
tudes of the dramatist, then the play has an appalling message. But 
if the play is seen as a thing of great and skilful artificiality, with 
standards of values which we accept while we are in the theatrif , 
there is no problem at all about sympathizing with the hero. The 
play had power enough to lull an Elizabethan conscience while it 
was being performed. 

It could well be said, however, that it is a poor play which 
depends on the audience suspending its belief in law and mercy. 
And yet a swingeing revenge-play has its own emotional satisfac- 
tion for the audience. Vengeance is exacted from evil-doers by a 
man whose wrongs invoke pity; in enabling an audience to forget 
their daily docility and to share in Hieronimo's violent triumph, it 
may be that Kyd has justified himself as an artist more than he 
would have done in providing a sermon on how irreligious it is to be 

It would be foolish to gloss over the difficulty of siding with 
Hieronimo to the very end, after the punishment of the criminals. 
As Bowers points out, he seems in the final ^cene little more than 
a dangerous and bloodthirsty maniac. Although I have suggested 
(see above, p. xxxvi) that the crudities of Hieronimo's departure 
from life might have been much less apparent in Kyd's original ver- 
sion of the play, no theory of revision can explain away what seems 
to be the pointless savagery of the murder of the unoffending Cas- 
tile. It may be that Kyd was trying to give a Senecan touch of the 
curse upon the house, but there are other considerations which 
make condemnation of Hieronimo rather irrelevant. In the first 
place, Castile was Andrea's enemy (see n. i. 46-7 and in. xiv. m- 
13) and Hieronimo is the agent of destiny employed to avenge 
Andrea; Castile's death appears to make Andrea's peace perfect. 
Revenge is satisfied, and we had best try not to worry about the 
bloodthirstiness of it all. 


Much more important, however, is the reflection that The 
Spanish Tragedy is, after all, a tragedy of sorts. Hieronimo has gone 
mad with grief, with the stress of observing his vow, and with the 
long war between himself and Lorenzo. As Castile falls, horror is 
mingled with pity that this should be the end of Hieronimo's life. 
Jf we cannot take Senecan revenge very seriously, or the somewhat 
contrived idea of destiny, we can take Lorenzo's machinations and 
Hieronimo's sufferings without embarrassment. The Spanish Tra- 
gedy has most merit in its study of the hero's grief and final distrac- 
tion, and, when at the end the innocent man suffers at the hands of 
the hero whose innocence was not in question, it is probable that an 
audience feels a more complex emotion than revulsion against 
extra-legal revenge, t 


Pavier's edition of 1 602 introduced into the play five additional pas- 
sages, some 320 lines in all. In the present edition they will be found 
separated from the original text, on pp. 122-35. 

The first, second, and last of the Additions have little to com- 
mend them ; their literary quality is slight and they do much damage 
to Kyd's careful unfolding of plot and character. The third Addi- 
tion is an imaginative piece of rhetoric which does not distort the 
original play; the fourth is the famous Tainter scene' and stands 
head and shoulders above the rest as good a scene of madness as 
anything in Elizabethan drama outside Hamlet or King Lear. 

Concerning the source of these Additions, there are two impor- 
tant entries in Henslowe's Diary (i, 149, 168) : 

Lent vnto m r alleyn the 25 of septmb^r 1601 to lend vnto Benge- 
men Johnson vpon his writtinge of his adicians in geronymo the 
some of xxxx s 

Lent vnto bengemy Johnsone at the a poyntment of E Allyen & 
w m birde the 22 of lune 1602 in earneste of a Boocke called Richard 
crockbacke & for new adicyons for Jeronymo the some of x 11 

There are difficulties in accepting the printed Additions as those 
mentioned by Henslowe. First, there is a general feeling that the 
style of the Additions is not in the least like anything Jonson could 


or would write. 1 Secondly, Henslowe has paid a large sum, 2 and 
a portion of 10, for his additions, and it is hard to think that all he 
was getting for his money was three-hundred-odd lines. Thirdly, it 
is a question whether the Additions could have been composed such 
a short time before they were published : 'there is an initial improb- 
ability that important additions to the acting version should have 
been allowed to reach the press so soon after composition' (MSR 
(i6o2\ pp. xviii-xix). Fourthly, there is the enigmatic reference by 
Jonson himself in the Induction to Cynthia's Revels in 1600 (printed 
1601), which seems to suggest that The Spanish Tragedy had alreadv 
been recast. A foolish playgoer is made to swear 'that the old Hiero- 
nimo, (as it was first acted) was the onely best, and iudiciously pend 
play of Europe" (Works, iv, 42). Fifthly, Schiicking and H. Levin 2 
have pointed out parodies of the Painter Scene in Marston's 
Antonio and Mellida, which is usually dated 1599, two years before 
Jonson was paid for his work. 

In view of these objections, there has been a tendency to push 
back the extant Additions to a date which would sympathize with 
Henslowe's (now erased) ne against a revival of The Spanish Tra- 
gedy in I597, 3 and to look for an author other than Jonson. Lamb 
fancied Webster, Coleridge fancied Shakespeare; Shakespeare has 
perhaps been the favourite in the continuing search, though a case 
has been made out for Dekker. 4 

But there are questions about the Additions which must be 
answered before one starts hunting for an author. What kind of copy 
does the text of the Additions suggest ? How far does the revised 
play as printed bear relation to the revised play as acted ? 

Schiicking (pp. 38-9), considering the extreme metrical defi- 
ciencies of the Additions, thought that they could not be as they 
were written by the author ; in some places, indeed, the text seemed 
to him so corrupt that it could not be restored. Greg and Nichol 

1 E.g., Lamb, Specimens (Bohn, 1897), P- JI > Coleridge, Table Talk 
(Bohn, 1888), p. 203; Herford and Simpson, Jonson's Works, II, 237-45. 
But see J. A. Symonds, Ben Jonson (1886), p. 15. 

2 Schiicking, pp. 33-5; Levin, M.L.N., Ixiv (1949), 297-302. 
8 Diary, i, 50 and 223. 

4 By H. W. Crundcll and R. G. Howarth, N. & Q.> 4 March 1933, 
7 April, 4 August 1934, 4 January 1941, 


Smith (MSR (1592}, p. xv) suggested that, if the 1602 Additions 
'were supplied by a reporter relying on his memory', we might have 
the explanation of their scantiness as compared with the large sum 
paid to Jonson. 'The hypothesis of reporting/ they go on, 'also, of 
course, meets the objection that the Admiral's men would have 
been unlikely to release the additions for publication so soon after 
the revival.' The authors agree, however, that it is still difficult to 
reconcile the style of the Additions with Jonson. 

Metrically, the Additions are indeed very rough or the verse is 
very free : see, for example, the latter part of Hieronimo's speech in 
the Third Addition. The verse of the famous Painter Scene is often 
impossible to scan on any recognized principle : the scene is full of 
short lines and long lines, and irregularly printed lines which can- 
not be pulled into decasyllabic shape. From the Painter's entry at 
1. 78, it is very hard to know whether prose or verse is the correct 
basis; all editions print as prose from 1. 113, and some (as in this 
edition) from 1. 107, but the quarto continues to give the appearance 
of verse throughout the scene, and certainly there are many blank- 
verse phrases in the prose. But apart from this disorder in the verse, 
there seems to me little evidence of the corruption of a reported 
version. While one might agree with Schiicking (pp. 38-9) that 
something appears to have gone wrong with Hieronimo's speeches 
and exchanges with Isabella at 11. 42-72 of the Fourth Addition, the 
language of that Addition as a whole seems quite free from the 
muddle, weakness, and repetitions to be expected from a memorial 
report. On the face of it, it would seem that a careless and hurried 
transcript could be responsible for the shortcomings of the text. 

But what are these Additions ? It is most unlikely that the text of 
1602 gives us The Spanish Tragedy in a form that was ever acted. 
Schiicking rightly argues that the old play plus the Additions gives a 
text far too long for acting. He thinks that the purpose of the Addi- 
tions was, not to pander to the audience's demand for new scenes 
of Hieronimo's lunacy, but to modernize the antiquated style of 
the play; the Additions are not additions, but replacements. The 
Painter Scene, with its bereaved father Bazardo, is to be substituted 
for that part of in. xiii which shows the bereaved father Bazulto 
seeking for justice. So far, this seems only reasonable, but Schiick- 


ing's ingenious suggestions about what other parts of the old play 
were to disappear in favour of the new material are much less con- 
vincing. The general theory, however, is surely sound: that we 
have in 1602, 'ein Nebeneinander von dem, was die Bretter nur als 
Nacheinander gekannt haben 5 (p. 78) ; a text in which new material 
is inappropriately added side by side with old material which had 
been erased for the stage. The bibliographical evidence, already 
submitted, would seem to support this : 1602 was not printed from 
new copy, but is a reprint of the last edition (and therefore eventu- 
ally going back to Kyd's foul papers) with the additional material 
inserted. Admittedly, the 'joins' are quite neat, especially in the 
First and at the end of the Fourth Additions, but Schiicking ex- 
presses strong doubts about the fitness of place of the Third 
Addition: the dialogue with the Portingales is awkwardly broken, 
and the reference to Balthazar (1. 39) seems too mild for the stage of 
the plot which has been reached. It seems just as likely that the 
working in of the new material was a piece of editorial patching and 
seaming as it is that it represents an author's dovetailing of material 
to make a new acting text. 

The train of events which seems to me most fitting to explain the 
relation between the Additions which we have and the new-furbish- 
ed play as acted is as follows. A fairly extensive revision of The Span- 
ish Tragedy was undertaken. This involved (i) the writing of new 
scenes to take the place of similar scenes in the old play, as with the 
Painter Scene; (ii) the excision of 'dead' material to provide space 
for new scenes of Hieronimo's madness like the First Addition; 
(iii) the reworking of unsatisfactory scenes, such as the ending, in 
which old material is incorporated with the new; (iv) the incidental 
enlivening of the dialogue, as in the Second Addition. When this 
revised version was acted, Pavier obtained some of the new material, 
but what he obtained has roughness enough to make us suspect that 
he got it surreptitiously perhaps by transcript, but conceivably 
through the actors. 1 He was able to fit his material with reasonable 
ease into the printed text which he had of the old play (i$99\ but 

1 It is quite impossible that a 'reporter' in the audience should have 
known the old play so well that he would be able to spot that the brief 
Second Addition was an addition. 


the new play which he thus created is an unwieldy thing not at all 
like the new Spanish Tragedy which was acted. 

What can be surmised about the condition of the text does not 
really strengthen the case for Jonson. There is support for Greg and 
Nichol Smith's view that it is no longer an argument that the Addi- 
tions are too thin for the payment given, or that they were released 
for publication too early. But there is nothing new in favour of 
Jonson's having written them. It is not an attractive theory that The 
Spanish Tragedy twice underwent revision, first by an unknown 
dramatist and then by Jonson, but the problem of style is acute. 
The possibly unauthorized transmission of the Additions cannot 
have transmuted the style, and the search for traces of Jonson's 
known style is hopeless. Yet it is important not to return a flat 'im- 
possible' to Jonson. The principle of decorum has to be remember- 
ed : it is no use comparing the Additions with what Jonson writes in 
Volpone or Sejanus or Cynthia? s Revels; we need to try to imagine 
what Jonson would have written for The Spanish Tragedy.^ Must he 
not have indulged a more romantic vein, with its own type of lan- 
guage (something not allowed to emerge in plays for which he was 
wholly responsible), when he tried to fit scenes to an old 'romantic' 
play ? Would anything that is truly Jonsonian have done ? The first 
and last of the Additions are perfunctory hack-work which Jonson 
could have managed in his sleep. He may have despised the passions 
he created. 

But there is still the question of date. The reference in Cynthia's 
Revels may be too ambiguous to build an argument on, but the 
Mars ton parodies are a different matter (see Appendix E). The 
accepted conjectural date of Marston's plays is I599. 2 If we accept 
the possibility, however, that the parodies of the Painter Scene were 
added later, then it is conceivable that Jonson is Marston's butt. 
Jonson's first payment for his work is 25 September 1601; Mar- 
ston's plays were entered in the Stationers' Register on 24 October 
1601 and published together in 1602. It is something of a strained 
conjecture that Jonson's revised play was on the stage early enough, 
and that Marston thought it worth while to tinker with his play in 

1 Cf. Max Priess, Englische Studien y Ixxiv, 341. 
a See Eliz. Stage, m, 429-30 ; Levin, op. cit. 


order to parody the new material, but it is not beyond the bounds of 

And in that awkward state of affairs it is necessary to leave the 
matter. It cannot be disproved that the Additions of 1602 are the 
relics of those for which Jonson was paid, but one is not at all happy 
in accepting them as such. If a really convincing case had been 
made out for another dramatist, and an earlier date, one would 
readily accept it. 


^he first recorded performances of The Spanish Tragedy were, as 
we have seen, in the early months of 1592 at the Rose on Bankside. 
The company was called Lord Strange's Men by Henslowe^but was 
an amalgamation of Strange's and the Admiral's Men (Eliz. Stage, 
n, 120). The play (or the play and its putative first part) was given 
twenty times in that season, and was played three times in the short 
season of December-January 1592-3 (see Appendix A). There- 
after, there is no record in Henslowe's Diary until the Admiral's 
Men's season at the Rose beginning 25 November 1596. 'Jeronimo* 
was played first on 7 January 1597, and against the entry Henslowe 
placed his enigmatic ne, since erased from the document. Twelve 
performances are recorded between January and July, and in the 
joint season of the Admiral's and Pembroke's Men which followed, 
'Jeronimd* was the opening performance on 11 October 1597. That 
performance is the last recorded by Henslowe, and the last datable 
professional performance in England. Henslowe's only other refer- 
ences are to the payments to Jonson for additions in 1601 and 1602. 
One would expect The Spanish Tragedy to have been played 
in the provinces in the 1590*8, and Dekker's Satiromastix (1602) 
taunts Jonson ('Horace') with having played Hieronimo in a com- 
pany of strolling players. 

Thou hast forgot how thou amblest (in leather pilch) by a play- 
wagon, in the high way, and took'st mad leronimoes part, to get 
seruice among the Mimickes. (iv. i. 130-2) 

I ha scene thy shoulders lapt in a Plaiers old cast Cloake, like a Slie 
knaue as thou art: and when thou ranst mad for the death of 
Horatio, thou borrowedst a gowne of Roscius the Stager, (that 


honest Nicodemus) and sentst it home lowsie, didst not ? 

(i. ii. 354-8) 

The date suggested by Herford and Simpson for this episode is 
July 1 597 (Works, I, 12). 

That The Spanish Tragedy in its revised form (whatever the 
authorship and date) continued to be acted with success in the first 
fifteen years of the seventeenth century can easily be inferred, 
though specific evidence is lacking. The title page of 76*02 refers to 
the enlarged play 'as it hath of late been diuers times acted', and the 
very publication of the Additions, probably unauthorized, bears 
witness to popularity, as does Marston's parody. In 1615, J. Tom- 
kis' play, Albumazar, was presented before the King at Cambridge 
and one of the characters talks of using 'complements drawn from 
the plaies I see at the Fortune and Red Bull', and then speaks a 
parody of the notorious 'O eyes, no eyes,' speech. It was at the For- 
tune rather than the Red Bull that revivals of the play could be seen, 
since it was there that the Admiral's Men (continuing under the 
name of Prince Henry's and later of the Palsgrave's Men) were 
accustomed to play (Eliz. Stage, n, 441). There is some question 
whether the Admiral's Men and their successors remained the sole 
proprietors of the play; the matter is discussed in Appendix F. In 
1615, also, appears the edition of the play which bears on its title- 
page the woodcut of the crucial arbour-scene Horatio hanging, 
Hieronimo in his night-shirt, Bel-imperia calling for help and being 
pulled away by Lorenzo in disguise (sc. with a blackened face). It 
seems quite possible that the artist took his ideas from stage- 
performances of the time. 

References to and parodies of the play are innumerable in the 
earlier seventeenth century, but their existence does not depend 
upon a live theatrical tradition ; but the successive editions of 1610, 
1615, 1618, 1623, and 1633 seem to speak of more than a literary 
interest. Boas (p. xcvii) quotes an interesting exchange from 
Thomas May's The Heir of 1620: 

Roscio. Has not your lordship seen 

A player personate Hieronimo ? 
Polymetes. By th' mass 'tis true. I have seen the knave paint grief 

In such a lively colour that for false 


And acted passion he has drawn true tears 
From the spectators. Ladies in the boxes 
Kept time with sighs and tears to his sad accents, 
As he had truly been the man he seemed. 

In Rawlins' play, The Rebellion (?i638~9), however, the acting 
of Hieronimo by 'wide-mouth'd Fowler' who was one of the 
pillars of the Fortune in those years inspires only contempt 
(Bentley, Jacobean and Caroline Stage, v, 996). 

For the English stage, there is little else to record. Schick and 
Boas give full accounts of the adventures of The Spanish Tragedy 
abroad. A band of English actors took the play to Germany and a 
performance is recorded at Frankfurt in 1601. Boas gives the text of 
a German adaptation made by Jacob Ayrer before 1605. Versions 
of the play were acted at Dresden in 1626 (by English actors), at 
Prague in 1651, and Liineburg in 1660; Creizenach cites a play, 
Der tolle marschalk aus Spanien, from an early eighteenth-century 
play list (see Boas, pp. xcix-c). In Holland, an adaptation by 
Adriaen van den Bergh was published in 1621, and a later anony- 
mous version was regularly reprinted until 1729. 

In the present century, as is only to be expected with a play 
occupying a key position in the histories of Elizabethan drama, The 
Spanish Tragedy has been several times revived by university 
dramatic societies. Birkbeck College twice produced the play, in 
December 1921 and December 1931. It was played in the library 
at Christ Church, Oxford, in a production by John Izon, in March 
1932. There was another production at Oxford, at St John's, in 
1951. August 1951 saw the play performed at the Edinburgh Festi- 
val by the Edinburgh University Dramatic Society. The producer 
was Roy Smith and Hieronimo was taken by Alexander Grant. The 
play was given with the Additions, but with some of the original 
play cut ; The Times (25 August) spoke favourably of Kyd's dramatic 
skill, and particularly of the effectiveness of the Ghost and Revenge. 
A photograph of the final scene of the play (The Times, 27 August) 
shows the Ghost and Revenge on an upper stage while (quite pro- 
perly) Hieronimo addresses his captive audience on the main stage. 

It is a pity that there is not more to record from the professional 
stage ; tjie play is worth the trial. 

Editions Cited in the Notes 

(See Introduction, pp. xl-xlv) 

(A) EARLY EDITIONS (with note of copy used) 

1592 Octavo-in-fours, undated (E. Allde for E. White), 

first and principal edition. B.M., C.34.d.7. 

1594 Octavo-in-fours of that year. Gottingen University 

Library [microfilm], 

1 599 Quarto of that year. Huntington Library [microfilm] . 

1602 Quarto of that year. Principal edition for 'Additions'. 
B.M., C.57.d.s. 

1603 Quarto with colophon of that year. Huntington Lib- 
rary [microprint], 

1610 Quarto with title-page of that year (colophon, 161 1). 


1615 Quarto of that year. B.M., C. 117^.36. 

1618 Quarto of that year. V. & A., Dyce colln. 

1623 Quarto of that year. B.M., 644.^63. 

I 6'33 Quarto of that year. B.M., 644^.64. 

Dodsley Select Collection of Old Plays, 1744, Vol. II. 

Hawkins Origin of the English Drama, ed. Thos. Hawkins, 

i?73> Vol. II. 

Reed Dodsley's Old Plays, ed. Isaac Reed, 1780, Vol. in. 

Collier Dodsley's Old Plays, ed. J. P. Collier, 1825, Vol. in. 

Hazlitt Dodsley's Old Plays, ed. W. C. Hazlitt, 1874, Vol. v. 

Manly Specimens of the Pre-Shaksperean Drama, ed. J. M. 

Manly, 1897, Vol. n. 

Schick 1 The Spanish Tragedy, ed. J. Schick, 1 898 ( The Temple 







Spanish Tragedy , ed. J. Schick, 1901 (Litter arhistor- 

ische Forschungen, Heft xix). 

[Note: Schick =~- agreement of these two editions.] 

Works of Thomas Kyd, 1901. 

English Drama 1580-1642, ed. C. F. Tucker Brooke 
and N. B. Paradise, 1933. 

Five Elizabethan Tragedies, ed. A. K. Mcllwraith, 

The Spanish Tragedy, ed. C. T. Prouty, 1951 (The 
Crofts Classics). 



Ghost of ANDREA. 

KING of Spain ('Spanish King'). 

CYPRIAN, Duke of Castile ('Castile', 'Duke'), his brother. 

LORENZO, the Duke's son. 

BEL-IMPERIA, Lorenzo's sister. 

GENERAL of the Spanish Army. 

VICEROY of Portugal ('King'). 
PEDRO, his brother. 
BALTHAZAR ('Prince'), his son. 

, noblemen at the Portuguese court. 

VlLLUPPO, j 6 

AMBASSADOR of Portugal to the Spanish court. 

HIERONIMO, Knight Marshal of Spain. / 

ISABELLA, his wife. 
HORATIO, his son. 

PEDRINGANO, servant to Bel-imperia. 

SERBERINE, servant to Balthazar. 

CHRISTOPHIL, servant to Lorenzo. 

Page ('Boy') to Lorenzo. 

Three Watchmen. 




Maid to Isabella. 

Two Portuguese. 


Three Citizens. 

An Old Man, BAZULTO ('Senex'). 

DRAMATIS PERSONAE] First given by Dodsley (1744) and expanded by 
Schick, Boas, and M.S.R. Alternative names are given in parentheses. 


Portuguese Nobles, Soldiers, Officers, Attendants, Halberdiers. 

Three Knights, Three Kings, a Drummer in the first Dumb-show. 
Hymen, Two Torch-bearers in the second Dumb-show. 


SOLIMAN, Sultan of Turkey (BALTHAZAR). 
ERASTO ('Erastus'), Knight of Rhodes (LORENZO). 
Bashaw (HIERONIMO). 

In the Additions : 

PEDRO \ . 

T servants to Hierommo. 


A Painter, BAZARDO.] 

The Spanish Tragedy 




Act I 


Enter the Ghost of ANDREA, and with him REVENGE. 
Andrea. When this eternal substance of my soul 

Did live imprison'd in my wanton flesh, 
Each in their function serving other 's need,"' 
I was a courtier in the Spanish court. 

My name was Don Andrea, my descent, 5 

Though not ignoble, yet inferior far 
To gracious fortunes of my tender youth : 
For there in prime and pride of all my years, 
By duteous service and deserving love, 

In secret I possess 5 d a worthy dame, 10 

Which hight sweet Bel-imperia by name. 
n But in the harvest of my summer joys 
Death's winter nipp'd the blossoms of my bliss/ 
Forcing divorce betwixt my love and me. 

Act l] ACTVS PRIMVS. 759*. I. Andrea.] Ghoast. 1592. 

iff.] Of the many parodies of the opening of the play, the best-known is in 
The Knight of the Burning Pestle, v. i : 'When I was mortal, this my costive 
corpse / Did lap up figs and raisins in the Strand.* 

8. prime] The line is cited in O.E.D. (s.v. prime, sb. 1 , 8) to illustrate the 
meaning 'the spring-time of human life, the time of early manhood . . . from 
about 21-28 years of age*. 

10. In secret] For further details about this clandestine relation and its 
consequences, see n. i. 45-8, in. x. 54-5, in. xiv. 1 1 1-12. 


For in the late conflict with Portingale 1 5 

My valour drew me into danger's mouth, 

Till life to death made passage through my wounds. 

* When I was slain, my soul descended straight 
To pass the flowing stream of Acheron : ' 

But churlish Charon, only boatman there, 20 

> Said that my rites of burial not perform'd, 
I might not sit amongst his passengers. ' 
Ere Sol had slept three nights in Thetis' lap 
And slak'd his smoking chariot in her flood, 
By Don Horatio, our Knight Marshal's son, 25 

My funerals and obsequies were done. 
Then was the ferryman of hell content 
To pass me over to the slimy strond 
That leads to fell Avernus' ugly waves : 
There pleasing Cerberus with honey'd speech, 30 

I pass'd the perils of the foremost porch. 
Not far from hence, amidst ten thousand souls, 
Sat Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanth, 
To whom no sooner gan I make approach, 

* To crave a passport for my wand'ring ghost, / 35 
But Minos, in graven leaves of lottery, 

15. the late conflict] See Introduction, p. xxiv. 

Portingale} Portugal; a quite usual form during the i6th and preceding 

1 8rT.] The description of the underworld is based upon the Aeneid, Bk VI. 
See note to 1.73. 

25. Knight Marshal] or Marshal of the King's House. A law officer whose 
authority was exercised in the English royal household, in hearing and 
determining all pleas of the crown, and suits between those of the king's 
house and others within the verge (sc. within a radius of twelve miles), and 
in punishing transgressions committed within his area. (See Jacob's Law 
Diet.) s.v. Marshal.) The office was abolished in 1846. 

28. strond] strand, shore. 

33. Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanth] appointed judges in the underworld 
because of the justice and integrity of their lives. Minos had the casting 
vote, as in 11. 50-3. 

36. graven leaves of lottery] Virgil says that the dead are assigned to their 
dwellings 'not without lot, or judgement; Minos, who presides, shakes the 
urn . . .' (Aen.j vi, 431-2). But here Minos is consulting the graven leaves 


Drew forth the manner of my life and death. 
/ 'This knight,' quoth he, 'both liv'd and died in love,^ 

And for his love tried fortune of the wars, 

And by war's fortune lost both love and life.' 40 

'Why then,' said Aeacus, 'convey him hence, 

To walk with lovers in our fields of love, 

And spend the course of everlasting time 

Under green myrtle trees and cypress shades.' 
1 'No, no,' said Rhadamanth, 'it were not well 45 

With loving souls to place a martialist,' 

He died in war, and "must to martial fields, 

Where wounded Hector lives in lasting pain, 

And Achilles' Myrmidons do scour the plain.' 

Then Minos, mildest censor of the three, 50 

Made this device to end the difference. 

'Send him,' quoth he, 'to our infernal king, 

To doom him as best seems his majesty.' 

To this effect my passport straight was drawn. 

In keeping on my way to Pluto's court, 55 

Through dreadful shades of ever-glooming night, 

I saw more sights than thousand tongues can tell, 

Or pens can write, or mortal hearts can think. 

Three ways there were : that on theVight-hand side 
f Was ready way unto the foresaid fields, '* 60 

i Where lovers live, and bloody martialists, ; 

But either sort contain'd within his bounds. 

The left-hand path, declining fearfully, 

for an account of Andrea's past ; there might, therefore, be some support for 
Brooke's gloss, 'book of fate'; lottery would presumably mean 'what is 
allotted to one', i.e., destiny (cf. Merchant of Venice, n. i. 15; Antony & 
Cleopatra) n. ii. 248). But drew forth (1-37) is best interpreted literally and 
we must suppose that Minos draws from his urn the lottery slip on which 
was engraved the manner of life which Andrea has by now fulfilled, i.e., 
what has been his lot. 

38-40.] The figure of repetition in these lines (anadiplosis) is a favourite 
with Kyd; cf. I. iii. 33ff. ; n. i. i I9ff. 

46. martialist] used by Kyd again in Cornelia, iv. ii. 46. 

53. doom] give judgement on. 


Was ready downfall to the deepest hell. 
Where bloody furies shakes their whips of steel, 65 

And poor Ixion turns an endless wheel : 
' Where usurers are chok'd with melting gold, 
And wantons are embrac'd with ugly snakes, 
And murderers groan with never-killing wounds, 
And perjur'd wights scalded in boiling lead, 70 

And all foul sins with torments overwhelm'd. 
'Twixt these two ways, I trod the middle path, 
Which brought me to the fair Elysian green, 
In midst whereof there stands a stately tower, 
The walls of brass, the gates of adamant. 75 

Here finding Pluto with his Proserpine, 
I show'd my passport humbled on my knee : 
Whereat fair Proserpine began to smile, 
And begg'd that only she might give my doom. 
Pluto was pleas 'd and seaPd it with a kiss. 80 

Forthwith^Revenge^^she rounded thee in th' ear, 
And Bade thee lead me through the gates of horn, 
Where dreams have passage in the silent night J 
No sooner had she spoke but we were here, 

69. groan] grone 1592; greeue 1594. 82. horn] Hazvkins; Hor: 1592; 
Horror 1599. 

64. downfall] a sudden descent. 

65. shakes] For this form of the plural, see Franz, 155. 

73. Elysian green] See Introduction, p. xxiii, for the relation between 
Kyd's description and Nashe's sneer, 'What can be hoped of those that 
thrust Elysium into hell ?' Virgil's Elysium is in the netherworld, and Kyd 
does not confuse the 'fair green' of the blessed with the 'deepest hell' of the 
damned. But he does take some liberties with Virgil's picture : the adamant 
gates and the tower of Pluto's court (11. 74-5) belong to the abode of the 
damned in Virgil (Aen., vi, 552-4); there are not 'three ways' in Virgil 
(1. 59) but two, the fields of lovers and martialists having been already 
passed by Aeneas. Did Kyd anticipate Dry den's error in supposing that 
corripiunt spatium medium (Aen. } VI, 634) meant trod the middle path 


79. doom] sentence. 

81. rounded] whispered. 

82. gates of horn] Cf. Aeneid, vi, 893-6 ; there are twin gates of sleep : from 
those of horn true visions emerge, from those of ivory, false visions. 


I wot not how, in twinkling of an eye. 85 

Revenge. Then know, Andrea, that thou artjirriv'd. 
/ Where thou sHalt se^heli^of^fri^ death,! 
Don Balthazar the prince of Portmgale7 " 
Deprived of life by Bel-imperia : 

Here sit we down to see the mystery, 90 

And serve for Chorus in this tragedy. 



King. Now say Lord General, how fares our camp ? 
Gen. All well, my sovereign liege, except some few 

That are deceas'd by fortune of the war. 
King. But what portends thy cheerful countenance, 

And posting to our presence thus in haste ? 5 

Speak man, hath fortune given us victory ? ' 
Gen. Victory my liege, and that with little loss. 
King. Our Portingals will pay us tribute then ? 
Gen. Tribute and wonted homage therewithal. 
King. Then blcst^be heaven, and guider of the heavens, | 10 

! From whpsefaii ; influence such justice flows.i | 

Cast. O multum dilecte Deo, tibi militat aether, 

Et conjuratae curvato poplite gentes 

I. ii. 8. then ?] 1615; then. 1592. 13. poplite] 1594; poplito 1592. 

89. Deprived of life] a fairly common phrase; see, e.g., / Henry IV, IV. iii. 
91 and Soliman andPerseda, I. vi. 28. 

90. mystery] events with a secret meaning. An unusual sense, repeated at 
ill. xv. 29; it is more usual to use the word for the secret meaning than for 
the events or for the story, and so Kyd uses it at I. iv. 139 (cf. O.E.D., j). 
There is possibly a suggestion here of the sense Secret rites' usually in 
a religious connexion. It is only a coincidence that each time Kyd uses the 
word, it is in the context of a stage presentation; the word mystery for the 
old biblical plays is much later. 

i. ii. i. camp] army; properly, army on a campaign (O.E.D., sb. 2 , 2). Doll 
Common uses this opening line to greet Face : Alchemist) in. iii. 33. 

12-14.] C O man much loved of God, for you the heavens fight, and the 
conspiring peoples fall on bended knee; victory is the sister of just rights.' 
An address deriving from Claudian. 


Succumbunt: recti soror est victoria juris. 
King. Thanks to my loving brother of Castile. 1 5 

But General, unfold in brief discourse 

Your form of battle and your war's success, 

That adding all the pleasure of thy news 

Unto the height of former happiness. 

With deeper wage and greater dignity 20 

We may reward thy blissful chivalry. 
Gen. Where Spain and Portingale do jointly knit 

Their frontiers, leaning on each other's bound, 

There met our armies in their proud array, 

Both furnish'd well, both full of hope and fear, 25 

Both menacing alike with daring shows, 

Both vaunting sundry colours of device, 

Both cheerly sounding trumpets, drums and fifes, 

Both raising dreadful clamours to the sky, 

That valleys, hills, and rivers made rebound, 7 30 

' And heaven itself was frighted with the sound. r 

Our battles both were pitch'd in squadron form, 

Each corner strongly fenc'd with wings of shot : 

But ere we join'd and came to push of pike, 

I brought a squadron of our readiest shot 35 

From out our rearward to begin the fight : 

They brought another wing to encounter us. 

Meanwhile our ordnance play'd on either side, 

And captains strove to have their valours tried. 

38. ordnance] 1623; ordinance 1592. 

20. wage] reward (' wages'). 

21. chivalry] skill in arms. 

22ff.] Massinger caricatures this speech in The Picture (1629), n. i. 
27. colours of device] heraldic standards or banners. 

32. battles] formations of soldiers 3 battalions. 
squadron form] form of a square. 

33. shot] troops equipped with firearms (O.E.D., sb. 1 , 2ia). 

34. push of pike] close in-fighting. The phrase is common ; cf . Massinger, 
Maid of Honour ) I. i. 59 : 'When, at push of pike, I am to enter / A breach . . .' 
push has a special sense of the thrust of a weapon (O.E.D., sb. 1 , 2). 


' Don Pedro, their chief horsemen's colonel, 40 

Did with his cornet bravely make attempt 
To break the order of our battle ranks. . 
^ But *Don Rogero,' worthy man of war, 

March'd forth against him with our musketeers, 
And stopp'd the malice of his fell approach. 45 

While they maintain hot skirmish to and fro, 
Both battles join and fall to handy blows, 
J Their violent shot resembling th' ocean's rage, ~f~ 
When, roaring loud and with a swelling tide, 
It beats upon the rampiers of huge rocks, 50 

And gapes to swallow neighbour-bounding landsU 
Now while Bellona rageth here and there, 
Thick storms of bullets rain like winter's hail, 
And shiver'd lances dark the troubled air. 

Pede pes et cuspide cuspis, 55 

Anna sonant armis, vir petiturque viro. 

40. colonel] Colonell 1594; Corloncll 1592; Coroncll 1602. 53. rain] 
Collier; ran 1592; run conj. Manly. 54. dark] darke 1592; darkt 1594. 
56. Anna] 1633; Anni 1592. armis] 1(133; annis 1592. 

40. colonel] a trisyllable, as indicated by the spelling of 1592, Corlonell, 
which also shows the wavering of the word between 'coroner, from the 
French, and 'colonel', from the Italian. O.E.D. remarks that up to 1590 
'coroner is far more frequent than 'colonel'. 

41. cornet] squad of cavalry (from the banner at their head). 
47. handy] hand-to-hand. 

50. rampiers] ramparts. 

52.] The first of several echoes of Garnier's description of the battle of 
Thapsus in Corne'lie, Act V: 'Bellonnc ardant de rage, au plus fort dc la 
presse, / Couroit qui ca qui la.' In Kyd's later translation, 'Bellona, fiered 
with a quenchles rage, / Runnes vp and downe . . .' (Cornelia, v. 183-4). 

53. rain] Collier's emendation brings out an appropriate image, to be 
compared (from afar) with Milton's 'sharp sleet of arrowic showers' (Para- 
dise Regained, in, 324). 

54.] Cf. Corne'lie: 'Us rompent pique et lance, et les esclats pointus / 
Bruyant sifflant par 1'air, volent comme festus', and Kyd's rendering: 'The 
shyuered Launces (ratling in the ayre) / Fly forth as thicke as moates about 
the Sunne' (Cornelia, v. 170-1). See Appendix C. 

dark] For 1594'^ 'improvement', darkt, see Introduction, p. xli. If ran 
were retained in the preceding line, a case might be made for the preterite 

55-6.] 'Foot against foot, lance against lance; arms clash on arms and 


On every side drop captains to the ground, 
And soldiers, some ill-maim'd, some slain outright : 
toere falls a body scinder'd from his head, 
There legs and arms lie bleeding on the grass, 60 

Mingled with weapons and unbowell'd steeds, \ 
That scattering overspread the purple plain. 
In all this turmoil, three long hours and more, 
The victory to neither part inclin'd, 

-A ^ Till Don Andrea/ with his brave lanciers, 65 

In their main battle made so great a breach, 
That, half dismay'd, the multitude retir'd : 
But? Balthazar,' the Portingales' young prince, 
Brought rescue and encourag'd them to stay : 
Here-hence the fight was eagerly renew'd, 70 

And in that conflict was Andrea slain 
Brave man at arms, but weak to Balthazar.* 
Yet while the prince, insulting over him, 
Breath'd out proud vaunts, sounding to our reproach, 
Friendship and hardy valour, join'd in one, 75 

Prick'd forth Horatio, our Knight Marshal's son, 
To challenge forth that prince in single fight: 
Not long between these twain the fight endur'd, 
* But straight the prince was beaten from his horse 

59. scinder'd] scindred 1592; sundered 1602. 

man is assailed by man.' Boas and Schick note analogies and possible 
sources in Statius, Virgil, and Curtius. 

59-60.] Cf. Corndie: 'Aux uns vous eussiez veu la teste my-partie . . . 
Aux uns la cuisse estoit ou Pespaule abbattue. 5 Once more, the echo here 
influences Kyd's later version: 'Some should you see that had theyr heads 
halfe clouen. . . Here lay an arme, and there a leg lay shiuer'd' (Cornelia, 
V. 255-8). 

scinder'd] sundered; a rare form, probably from association/confusion 
with Lat. scindere to cleave (O.E.D.). 

61. unboweWd] disembowelled, 'unboweld steeds' occurs in Heywood's 
Rape ofLucrece, 1. 2876. 

65. lanciers] lancers ; this form is found into the i8th century. 

jo. Here-hence] as a result of this (O.E.D., i). O.E.D. wrongly cites this 
passage under here-hence 2 = from this point forward, from henceforth. 

73. insulting] exulting insolently. 

76. Prick'd] spurred. 


And forc'd to yield him prisoner to his foe : 80 

When he was taken, all the rest they fled, ' 

And our carbines pursued them to the death. 

Till Phoebus waning to the western deep, 

Our trumpeters were charg'd to sound retreat. 
King. Thanks good Lord General for these good news, 85 

And for some argument of more to come, 

Take this and wear it for thy sovereign's sake. 

Give him his chain. 

But tell me now, hast thou confirm'd a peace ? 
Gen. No peace my liege, but peace conditional, 

That if with homage tribute be well paid, 90 

The fury of your forces will be stay'd : 

And to this peace their viceroy hath subscrib'd, 

Give the KING a paper. 

And made a solemn vow that during life 

His tribute shall be truly paid to Spain. 
King. These words, these deeds, become thy person well. 95 

But now Knight Marshal, frolic with thy king, 

For 'tis thy son that wins this battle's prize. 
Hier. Long may he live to serve my sovereign liege, 

And soon decay unless he serve my liege. A tucket afar off. 
1 King. Nor thou nor he shall die without reward : 100 

What means the warning of this trumpet's sound ? 
Gen. This tells me that your grace's men of war, 

Such as war's fortune hath reserv'd from death, 

Come marching on towards your royal seat 

To show themselves before your majesty, 105 

83. waning] 1603; waning 1592. 99. A tucket afar off.} 1592; following ' 
I. 100 in Dodsley. 101. the warning] Schick; this warning 1592. this 
trumpet] 1592; the trumpet 1615. 

83. waning] 1592'$ waving is generally retained, but it is probably a mis- 
print. O.E.D.) wave, v. 3 5b, gives 'to decline' (of the sun) but cites only this 
passage, wrongly dated 1615. The line in Wily Beguiled (1. 252), 'When 
Phebus waues vnto the westerne deepe', is obviously derived from the 
printed text of The Spanish Tragedy. 

96. frolic] be gay. Hieronimo is not asked to skylark. 

99. tucket] a flourish on a trumpet. 


For so I gave in charge at my depart. 
Whereby by demonstration shall appear 
That all (except three hundred or few more) 
Are safe return'd and by their foes enrich'd. 

The Army enters., BALTHAZAR between LORENZO 
and HORATIO, captive. 

King. A gladsome sight, I long to see them here. 1 10 

They enter and pass by. 

Was that the warlike prince of Portingale, 

That by our nephew was in triumph led ? 
Gen. It was, my liege, the prince of Portingale. 
King. But what was he that on the other side 

Held him by th' arm as partner of the prize ? 115 

Hier. That was my son, my gracious sovereigns** 

Of whom though from his tender infancy V 

My loving thoughts did never hope but well J 
f He never pleas'd his father's eyes till now, / 

Nor fill'd my heart with overcloying joys . I J 1 20 

King. Go let them march once more about these walls. 

That staying them we may confer and talk 

With our brave prisoner and his double guard. 

Hieronimo, it greatly pleaseth us, 

That in our victory thou have a share, 125 

By virtue of thy worthy son's exploit. 

Enter [the Army] again. 

Bring hither the young prince of Portingale, 

The rest march on, but ere they be dismiss'd, 

We will bestow on every soldier 

Two ducats, and on every leader ten, 130 

129-31. We . . . soldier / Two . . . ten, / That . . . them.] Manly; We . . . 
ducats, / And . . . know / Our . . . them. 1592. 

117-19.] an awkward construction, but not an anacoluthon. 'And 
though I never hoped but well of him, he never pleased (etc.).' 


That they may know our largess welcomes them. 

Exeunt all [the Army] but BALTHAZAR, 


Welcome Don Balthazar, welcome nephew, 

And thou, Horatio, thou art welcome too : 
* Young prince/ although thy father's hard misdeeds, 

In keeping back the tribute that he owes, 135 

Deserve but evil measure at our hands, 
f Yet shalt thou know that Spain is honourable. ' 
J&z/.'lThe trespass that my father made in peace 
% Is now controlTd by fortune of the wars : v 

And cards once dealt, it boots not ask why so : 140 

M His men are slain, a weakening to his realm, 

His colours seiz'd, a blot unto his name, 

His son distress'd, a corsive to his heart : 

These punishments may clear his late offence)' 
King. Ay Balthazar, if he observe this truce 145 

Our peace will grow the stronger for these wars : 

Meanwhile live thou, though not in liberty, 
4 Yet free from bearing any servile yoke, 

For in our hearing thy deserts were great. 

And in our sight thyself art gracious. } 150 

Bal Ancfa shall study to deserve th&grace.^ x ? 
King. But tell me, for their holding makes me doubt, 

To which of these twain art thou prisoner ? 
Lor. To me, myjiege. 

Hor. To me, my sovereign. 

Lor. This hand first took his courser by the reins. 155 

Hor. But first my lance did put him from his horse. 
Lor. I seiz'd his weapon and enjoy'd it first. 

142. unto] 1592; upon Dodsley. 

131. largess] liberality, bountifulness. 

139. controlled] held in check, hence, brought to an end, cancelled out. 

143. corsive] corrosive. For the literal use, see Nashe, n, 147: 'Surgions 
lay Corsiues to any wounde, to eate out the dead-flesh.' For the figurative 
use, as here, cf. Chettle's Hoffman, 1. 279: 'My ages corsiue, and my blacke 
sinnes curse*. 


Hor. But first I forc'd him lay his weapons down. 

King. Let go his arm, upon our privilege. Let him go. 

Say worthy prince, to whether didst thou yield ? 160 

Bal\ To him in courtesy, to this perforce : 

He spake me fair, this other gave me strokes : 

He promis'd life, this other threaten'd death : 

He wan my love, this other conquer'd me : ' 

And truth to say I yield myself to both. \ 165 

Hier. But that I know your grace for just atid wise, 

And might seem partial in this difference, 

Enforc'd by nature and by law of arms 

My tongue should plead for young Horatio's right. 
1 He hunted well that was a lion's death, t 170 

Not he that in a garment wore his skin : 

So hares may pull dead lions by the beard. 

159- upon our privilege] sc. of absolute authority. 

1 60. whether] which of the two. 

164. wan] an alternative form of 'won'. 

167. And might seem partial] Hieronimo is of course referring to himself 
and not to the king. 

172.] a proverbial saying (Tilley Hi65) bringing together two proverbs 
from Erasmus' Adagio* which ultimately derive from P. Syrus' Sententiae 
(cf. Irishman's Three Parnassus Plays, p. 205) and Martial's Epigrams (cf. 
Nashe, Works, iv, 164), concerning (a) hares triumphing over dead lions 
and (b) the bravado of anyone's pulling a dead lion's beard. The conflation 
is found in one of Alciat's emblems (Green, pp. 3O4ff.) which pictures the 
hares tugging at a dead lion's mane and contains in the verses the phrase sic 
cassi luce leonis / Conuellunt barbam vel timidi lepores. (Whitney took over 
Alciat's emblem in 1586 but he is not Kyd's source.) In Strange Newes 
(1592), Nashe quotes directly from Kyd, 'So Hares may pull dead Lions by 
the beards. Memorandum: I borrowed this sentence out of a Play' (Works, 
I, 271). The reference in 11. 170-1 is to the Fourth Fable of Avian (in Cax- 
ton) concerning the ass who sports himself in a lion's skin which he has 

Lines 170-2 stand in perplexing relation to the lines in King John refer- 
ring to Austria in Cceur-de-Lion's garment : 

You are the hare of whom the proverb goes, 
Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard : 

, well did he become that lion's robe 
/ That did disrobe the lion of that robe! 
i It lies as sightly on the back of him 


King. Content thee Marshal, thou shalt have no wrong, 

And for thy sake thy son shall want no right. 

Will both abide the censure of my doom ? 1 75 

Lor J I crave no^etter than your grace awards./ 
Hor. Nor I, although I sit beside my right. 
King. Then by my judgment thus your strife shall end : 

You both deserve and both shall have reward. 
f Nephew, thou took'st his weapon and his horse, 1 80 

His weapons and his horse are thy reward. 

Horatio, thou didst force him first to yield, 
] His ransom therefore is thy valour's fee : ' I 

Appoint the sum as you shall both agree. 

(But nephew, thou shalt have the prince in guard, 185 

For thine estate best fitteth such a guest :* 
Horatio's house were small for all his train. 
Yet in regard thy substance passeth his, , 

1 80. weapon] 1592; weapons 1615. 

As great Alcides' shows upon an ass; (n. i. 137-8, 141-4) 
The date of King John is uncertain and so is that of The Spanish Tragedy, so 
that dependence of one upon the other must be decided on internal evi- 
dence. Shakespeare is often given the precedence (see, e.g., Greg, Shake- 
speare's First Folio, pp. 254-5, following Dover Wilson), but the proverbial 
background proves it not necessary. The images arc appropriate to the situ- 
ation in Kyd's play, would arise quite naturally to a writer, and would be 
understood by the audience on their own merits and not by allusion. But if 
in 11. 170-1 there is an allusion beyond the Avian fable, it might possibly be, 
not to King John, but to The Troublesome Reign of King John; e.g. n. 131-2 : 
'Not you, Sir Doughty, with your lion's case. Ah, joy betide his soul, to 
whom that spoil belong'd!' If that play is the source of King John, Shake- 
speare may, in working over the passage, have recollected the proverbial 
ornamentation which Kyd provides. 

173.] Cf.Jew of Malta, I. 385, 'Content thee, Barabas, thou hast nought 
but right.* See note to in. xii. 71. 

175. censure] judgement. 

177. sit beside my right] forgo my right. An odd phrase; presumably 
Horatio thinks of placing himself outside the position his rights entitle him 
to. It is possible that the reading should be set beside (set aside; see O.E.D., 
s.v. beside, 4b). 

187.] Horatio's inferior social position is emphasized in the play and con- 
tributes largely to Lorenzo's scorn and hatred towards him. Cf. n. iv. 60, 
in. x. 57. 


And that just guerdon may befall desert, 
To him we yield the armour of the prince. 190 

How likes Don Balthazar of this device ? 
Bal. Right well my liege, if this proviso were, 
That Don Horatio bear us company, 
Whom I admire and love for chivalry. f 

King. ' Horatio^jeave jiim not that loves thee so. 1 *- 195 

* Now let us hence to see our soldiers paid, 
; And feast our prisoner as our friendly guest. } * Exeunt. 

[I. iii] 

Enter VICEROY, ALEXANDRO, VILLUPPO[, Attendants]. , 

Vice. Is our ambassador despatch'd for Spain ? 

Alex. Two days, my liege, are pass'd since his depart. 

Vice. And tribute payment gone along with him ? 

Alex. Ay my good Lord. 

Vice. I Then rest we here awhile in our unrest, 5 

And feed our sorrows with some inward sighs, 

For deepest cares break never into tears.! 

But wherefore sit I in a regal throne ? 

This Better fits a wretch's endless moan. Falls to the ground. 

Yet this is higher than my fortunes reach,' ~~" 10 

And therefore better than my state deserves. 

Ay, ay, this earth, image of melancholy. 

Seeks him whom fates adjudge to misery : 

Here let me lie, now am I at the lowest. 

Quijacet in terra non habet unde cadat. 1 5 

I. iii. 9. Falls to the ground.} 1623; following I. 11 in 1592. 14. am I] 
I am 1633. 

I. iii. 7.] Schick suggests an echo of Seneca, Phaedra, 1. 607: Curae leves 
loquuntur, ingentes stupent. But the notion is very common ; e.g., Ralegh, 'To 
the Queen* : 'Our Passions are most like to Floods and streames ; / The shal- 
low Murmure; but the Deep are Dumb.' Cf. Tilley 8664 and Wi30. 

15-17.] 'If one lies on the ground, one can fall no further ; in me, Fortune 
has exhausted her power of hurting ; there is nothing left that can harm me 
more.' A typical pastiche: the sources were identified by W. P. Mustard, 
P-Q.) v (1926), 85-6; the first line is a tag from Alanus de Insulis, Lib. 


In me consumpsit vires fortuna nocendo. 
Nil super est utjampossit obesse magis. 

Yes, Fortune may bereave me of my crown : 

Here take it now : let Fortune do her worst, 

She will not rob me of this sable weed : 20 

O no/ shccnyics none but pleasant things : 1 

Such is the foUjrpf despiteful chance ! 

Fortune is blind and sees not my deserts, 

SoJs^sE^eaFand hears not my laments : ' 

And could she hear, yet is she wilful mad, 25 

And therefore will not pity my distress. 

Suppose that she could pity me, what then ? 
v What help can be expected at her hands, 

Whose fppt is standing on a rolling stone 

And mind more mutable than ficEle^wtfTds ? * 30 

Why wail I then, where's hope of no redress ? 

O yes,' complaining makes my grief seem less. ' 

My late ambition hath distain'd my faith, 

My breach of faith occasion'd bloody wars, 
* Those bloody wars have spent my treasure, 35 

And with my treasure my people's blood, 

And with their blood, my joy and best belov'd, 

My best belov'd, my sweet and only son. * 

O wherefore went I not to war myself? 

The cause was mine, I might have died for both : 40 

' My years were mellow, his but young and green, 

29. is] Dodsley; not in 1592. 

Parab.) cap. 2, 1. 19, the second from Seneca's Agamemnon, 1. 698 (Fortuna 
vires ipsa consumpsit suas), the third line is presumably Kyd's own com- 

29. rolling stone] Fortune was commonly depicted standing on a sphere 
and so she appears in emblem-poetry (see Green, pp. 255, 261-3). Gamier 's 
Corndie has 'les piez . . . sur le haut d'une boule pliez', and in Kyd's trans- 
lation the rolling stone turns up once more (i. 105). Pistol and Fluellen 
knew about the * spherical stone, which rolls, and rolls, and rolls' (Henry V, 
ill. vi. 37). 

33. distain'd] sullied. 

35) 36. treasure] trisyllabic in both places, 'treasu-er', although disyllabic 
elsewhere in the play. 


My death were natural, but his was forc'd. / 
Alex. No doubt, my liege, but still the prince survives. * 
Vice. Survives ! ay, where ? 

Alex. In Spain, a prisoner by mischance of war. * 45 

Vice! Then they have slain him for his father's fault. 
Alex. That were a breach to common law of arms. 
Vice] They reck no laws that nxgdJEate revenge, 1 
Alex. His ransom's worth wiUjtay from fo^l revenge. 
Vice. No, if he liv'd the news would soon be here. 50 

Alex. Nay, M evil news fly faster still than good. n 
Vice. Tell me no more of news, for he is dead. 
Vill. My sovereign, pardon the author of ill news, 

And Pll bewray the fortune of thy son. 
Vice. Speak on, I'll guerdon thee whate'er it be : 55 

Mine ear is ready to receive ill news, 
' My heart grown hard 'gainst mischief's battery: ! 

Stand up I say, and tell thy tale at large. 
Vill. Then hear that truth which these mine eyes have seen. 

When both the armies were in battle join'd, 60 

Don Balthazar, amidst the thickest troops, 

To win renown did wondrous feats of arms : 

Amongst the rest I saw him hand to hand 

In sipgle fight with their lord-general : 

Till Alexandro, that here counterfeits 65 

Under the colour of a duteous friend, ' * 

Discharg'd his pistol at the prince's back, 

As though he would have slain their general : 

But therewithal Don Balthazar fell down, 

And when he fell, then we began to fly : 70 

But had he liv'd, the day had sure been ours. 
Alex. O wicked forgery : O traitorous miscreant ! 
Vice. Hold thou thy peace ! But now Villuppo, say, 

Where then became the carcase of my son ? 
Vill. I saw them drag it to the Spanish tents. 75 

54. bewray} reveal. 

55. guerdon] reward. 

72. forgery] malicious fabrication. 


^ v 

Vice. Ay, ay, my nightly dreams have told me this. 
Thou false, unkind, unthankful, traitorous beast, 
Wherein had Balthazar offended thee, 
That thou shouldst thus betray him to our foes ? 
Was't Spanish gold that bleared so thine eyes 80 

That thou couldst see no part of our deserts ? 
Perchance because thou art Terceira's lord 
] Thou hadst some hope to wear this diadem, 
If first my son and then myself were slain : 
But thy ambitious thought shall break thy neck. 85 

Ay, this was it that made thee spill his blood, 

Take the crown and put it on again. 
I But I'll now wear it till thy blood be spilt. | 
Alex. Vouchsafe, dread sovereign, to hear me speak. 
Vice.] Away with him, his sight is second hell,/ 

Keep him till we determine of his death. , 90 

[Exeunt Attendants with ALEXANDRO.] 
If Balthazar be dead, he shall not live. 
Villuppo, follow us for thy reward. Exit VICEROY. 

Villt Thus have I with an envious forged tale 
/ Deceh^d the king, betray'd mine enemy, 
A And hope for guerdon of my villainy. Exit. 95 


Bel. Signior Horatio, this is the place and hour 

Wherein I must entreat thee to relate 
The circumstance of Don Andrea's death, 
\ Who, living, was my garland's sweetest flower, 

83. diadem] Diadome 1592. 90.1. [Exeunt . . . ]] no S.D. in 1592; They 
take him out. Manly. 

82. Terceira's lord] Boas remarks that the title of Capirdo Donatario of 
Terceira, or of any territory annexed to Portugal, would be inherited from 
the original exploiter of the colony, and would carry with it almost despotic 

93. envious] malicious. 


,> #* ' 

And in his death hath buried my delights. J * '5 

HOT. For love of him and service to yourself, 
I nill refuse this heavy doleful charge, 

I Yer'tears'and sighs, I fear will hinder me/ 
When both our armies were enjoin'd in fight. 

Your worthy chevalier amidst the thick'st, 10 

For glorious cause still aiming at the fairest, 

Was at the last by young Don Balthazar 

Encounter'd hand to hand : their fight was long, 
r Their hearts were great, 1 their clamours menacing, 
t Their strength alike, their strokes both dangerous./ 15 

But wrathful Nemesis, that wickedLpower, 

EnvyingaT"Andrea's praise and worth? 

CursfiorTTiTslIFe to end his praise and worth. * 

She, she herself, disguis'd in armour's mask 

(As Pallas was before proud Pergamus), 20 

Brought in a fresh supply of halberdiers, 

Which paunch'd his horse and ding'd him to the ground. 

Then young Don Balthazar with ruthless rage, 

Taking advantage of his foe's distress, 

Did finish what his halberdiers begun, 25 

And left not till Andrea's life was done. 

Then, though too late, incens'd with just remorse, 

I 1 with my band set forth against the prince, 
And brought him prisoner irom his halberdiers. 

Bel. Would thou hadst slain him that so slew my love. 30 

But then was Don Andrea's carcase lost ? 
Hor. *No, that was it for which I chiefly strove, 

ii.] 'striving always to perform the finest deeds for his glorious cause (of 
honour in Bel-imperia's eyes)'. 

20.] Cf. Aeneid, n, 615-16 (Boas). But it was Juno who was 'girt with 
steel' (n, 613). 

22. paunch'd] stabbed in the belly, disembowelled. 

ding'd] knocked, struck. Cf. Studley's trans, of Seneca's Phaedra 
(Hippolytus), Act IV, 'And dingd against the rugged Rocks his head doth 
oft rebound.' 

27. remorse] sorrow, pity. The phrase 'incenst with sole remorse' in a 
very similar context occurs in Watson's Mehbceus; see Appendix D. 


Nor stepp'd I back till I recover'd him : 
I took him up and wound him in mine arms,* 
And welding him unto my private tent, 35 

1 There laid him down and dew'd him with my tears, 

And sigh'd and sorrow'd as became a friend. 
' But neither friendly sorrow, sighs nor tears, 
Could win pale death from his usurged right.* 
Yet this I did, and less I could not do, 40 

* I saw him honour'd with due funeral : I 
This scarf I pluck'd from off his liveless arm, 
And wear it in remembrance of my friend. * 
BeL I know the scarf, would he had kept it still, 

For had he liv'd he would have kept it still, 45 

And worn it for his Bel-imperia's sake : 
'For 'twas my favour at his last depart. 
But now wear thou it both for him and me, , 
For after him thou hast deserv'd it best, t 
But for thy kindness in his life and death, 50 

I Be sure while Bel-imperia's life endures, 

She will be Don Horatio's thankful friend. 
Hor. And, madam, Don Horatio will not slack 
Humbly to serve fair Bel-imperia. 

But now if your good liking stand thereto, 55 

I'll crave your pardon to go seek the prince, 
For so the duke your father gave me charge. Exit. 

BeL Ay, go Horatio, leave me here alone, 

t For solitude best fits my cheerless mood : ' 
| /Yet what avails to wail Andrea's death, ( ( 60 

1 1 From whence Horatio proves my second love ? If 

35. welding] 1592; wielding Schick 1 . 

M , 

35. welding] carrying. An alternative form of wielding, though for wield in 
this sense, O.E.D. (40) has only this example later than mid- 1 5th century. 

36. dew'd him with my tears] Examples of this figurative use of dew go 
back to 1200 in O.E.D. The phrase was popular with the Elizabethans; cf. 
2 Henry VI) ill. ii. 340; Tamburlaine y Pt. 2, 1. 3889; Antonio's Revenge, 

u. 998-9. 

58-68.] Concerning Bel-imperia's motives, see Introduction, p. liv. 


Had he not lov'd Andrea as he did, * 
He could not sit in Bel-imperia's thoughts. 
Bujjiow can love find harbour in my breast/ 
Tilljjrevenge the deagi^mybeloved2X^ 65 

res, second love shall further my revenge. 
I'll loveHoratio, my Andrea's friend, 
The more to spite the prince that wrought his end. ) 
And where|Don Balthazar, that slew myTbve, 
Himself now pleads for favour at my hands, 70 

He shall in rigour of my just disdain 
Reap long repentance forjiisjnurd'rous deed: / 
"For what was 'telse bufmurcTrous cowardice, 
jomanyjo oppress one valiant knight, 
WithouTFespect of honour in the fight ? 75 

And here he comes that murder'd my delight. 


Lor. Sister, what means this melancholy walk ? 

Bel. That for a while I wish no company. 

Lor. But here the prince is come to visit you. 

Bel. That argues that he lives in liberty. 80 

Bal. No madam, but in pleasing servitude. 

Bel. Your prison then belike is your conceit. 

Bal. A$> by conceit my freedom is enthrall'd. ' 

Bel. Then with conceit enlarge yourself again. 

Bal. What if conceit have laid my heart to gage ? 85 

Bel. Pay that you borrow'd and recover it. 

Bal) I die if it return from whence it lies.' 

Bel. A heartless man and live ? A miracle ! 

Bal. Ay lady, love can work such miracles. 

Lor. Tush, tush my lord, let go these ambages, 90 

88. live] 15^2; lives 1602. 

82. conceit] fancy. 

84. enlarge] set free. 

85. to gage] as a pledge. 

90. ambages] roundabout or indirect modes of speech. From 14th- 
century French, which took it from Latin, the word being the same in all 


And in plain terms acquaint her with your love. 

Befi What boots complaint, when there's no remedy ? * -V 

BaL Yes, to your gracious self must I complain. 
In whose fair answer lies my remedy, 

On whose perfection all my thoughts attend, 95 

On whose aspect mine eyes find beauty's bower, 
In whose translucent breast my heart is lodg'd. 

Bel. Alas my lord, these are but words of course, 
And but device to drive me from this place. 

She, ingoing in, lets fall her glove, which HORATIO, 
coming out, takes up. 

Hor. Madam, your glove. 100 

Bel. Thanks good Horatio, take it for thy pains. 

BaL Signior Horatio stoop'd in happy time. 

Hor) I reap'd more grace than I deserv'd or hop*d. r 

Lor ./My lord, be not dismay'd for what is past, 

y You know that women oft are humoroj|j r 105 

\ These cloudswill ^overblowwith littlejwind, 
3 w^lLet me alone, I'll scatter them myself : 

Meanwhile let us devise to spend the time 

In some delightful sports and revelling. 
Hor. The king, my lords, is coming hither straight, no 

To feast the Portingal ambassador: 

Things were in readiness before I came. 
BaL Then here it fits us to attend the king, 

To welcome hither our ambassador 

And learn my father and my country's health. 115 

Enter the Banquet, Trumpets, the KING and AMBASSADOR. 
99. device] deuise 1592; deuisde 759.9. 

three languages. Chaucer was apparently the first to use it in English. Reed 
quotes Wily Beguiled^ 'By lesus, I cannot play the dissembler / And wooe 
my loue with courting ambages' (M.S.R., 11. 948-9). 

98. words of course] conventional or routine phrases. 

99. but device] merely a device. The sense is not improved by reading 
devis'd with 7599 an< 3 Brooke, and the reading has no authority. 

105. humorous] temperamental. 

115.1.] Many editors begin a new scene here. But the stage is not cleared 


King. See Lord Ambassador, how Spain entreats 

Their prisoner Balthazar, thy viceroy's son : 

1 We pleasure more in kindness than in wars. * 
Amb. Sad is our king, and Portingale laments, 

Supposing that Don Balthazar is slain. 120 

BaL So am I slain, by beauty's tyranny. 

You see, my lord, how Balthazar is slain : 
* 1 frolic with the Duke of Castile's son, 

Wrapp'd every hour in pleasures of the court, 

And grac'd with favours of his majesty.l 125 

King. Put off your greetings till our feast be done, 

Now come and sit with us and taste our cheer. 

Sit to the banquet. 

Sit down young prince, you are our second guest : 

Brother sit down, and nephew take your place : 

Signior Horatio, wait thou upon our cup, 130 

For well thou hast deserved to be honour'd. 

Now lordings fall to, Spain is Portugal, 

And Portugal is Spain, we both are friends, 

Tribute is paid, and we enjoy our right. 

But where is old Hieronimo, our marshal ? 135 

He promis'd us, in honour of our guest, 

To grace our banquet with some pompous jest. 

131. honour'd] honored 1592. 

and continuity is stressed by the King's first speech. Cf. the entry of the 
King and State in Hamlet, v. ii. 

the Banquet] not necessarily the sumptuous meal the word now implies ; 
it could be something quite unpretentious (by Elizabethan standards), a 
conveniently portable meal for theatrical purposes, and the King apolo- 
gizes for the fare at 1. 176. Nevertheless this feast is obviously elaborate. 

116. entreats] treats. 

I2i.] Schick punctuates thus: 'So am I! slain by beauty's tyranny.' 
1592 has no internal punctuation. 

125. grac'd] honoured. Kyd uses the word in several senses; see Index. 

131.] an awkward line to scan and 1592 gives no help. See Textual 

131. grace] adorn, lend grace to (O.E.D., v. 3 4). 

pompous] stately. 

jest] entertainment (O.E.D., 8). 


Enter HIERONIMO with a Drum, three Knights, each his 

scutcheon: then he fetches three Kings, they 

take their crowns and them captive. 

Hieronimo, this masque contents mine eye, 

Although I sound not well the mystery. 

Hier. The first arm'd knight that hung his scutcheon up, 140 
He takes the scutcheon and gives it to the KING. 

Was English Robert, Earl of Gloucester, 

Who when King Stephen bore sway in Albion, 

Arriv'd with five and twenty thousand men 

In Portingale, and by success of war 

Enforc'd the king, then but a Saracen, 145 

To bear the yoke of the English monarchy. 
King. My lord of Portingale, by this you see 

137.1. with a Drum] *It is more likely that . . . this indicates a character 
. . . than that the Marshal himself carries a drum' (MSR (1592)* p. xxvii). 
Cf. Halberts, ill. i. 30.1. 

139. mystery] hidden meaning, allegorical significance. See note to I. i. 90. 

140-57.] It is a problem to know where Kyd got his rosy account of 
English triumphs in the Iberian lands, (a) Englishmen certainly helped in 
the capture of Lisbon from the Saracen' in 1147 and Mayerne Turquet's 
General History of Spain (published in France in 1586) mentions them; but 
'there is no reason to suppose that Robert of Gloucester was ever in Portu- 
gal* (Boas). There is no hint in Holinshed or in chronicles like Grafton or 
Hardyng or Fabyan to support Kyd. () Kyd is dealing with historical facts, 
but has got them upside down. In 1 38 1-2 Edmund Langley was on the side 
of Portugal against Spain. Polydore Vergil deals fully with the campaign, 
but there is nothing to suggest the razing of Lisbon's walls. Nor are the stan- 
dard popular chronicles a possible source, (c) If Mariana's History of Spain 
were not too late (Toledo, 1592), one might suggest that his account of the 
battle of Najara (1367) in which John of Gaunt took part might have been 
imperfectly remembered by Kyd. Whether it is Gaunt 's expedition to 
Spain of 1367 or, as Boas suggests, of 1386-7, 1 have found nothing in the 
full accounts of Holinshed, Froissart, or Polydore Vergil to warrant Kyd's 
account. But Holinshed (referring to 1386) talks of disagreement among 
English writers about a battle in which the Duke of Castile was utterly 
defeated; it is most unlikely that Kyd was alone in his views on Spain's his- 
tory. Shakespeare may have been thinking of The Spanish Tragedy when he 
wrote of 'great John of Gaunt, Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain' 
(3 Henry Vl y m. iii. 81-2), but P. A. Daniel noted the projected play in 
Henslowe's Diary, i, 135, The Conquest of Spayne by John a Gant> as evi- 
dence of a popular belief not based on the chronicles. 


That which may comfort both your king and you, 

And make your late discomfort seem the less. 

But say Hieronimo, what was the next ? 150 

Hier. The second knight that hung his scutcheon up, 

He doth as he did before. 

Was Edmund, Earl of Kent in Albion, 

When English Richard wore the diadem. 

He came likewise and razed Lisbon walls, 

And took the King of Portingale in fight : 155 

For which, and other suchlike service done, 

He after was created Duke of York. 
King. This is another special argument, 

That Portingale may deign to bear our yoke 

When it by little England hath been yok'd. 1 60 

But now Hieronimo, what were the last ? 
Hier. The third and last, not least in our account, Doing as before. 

Was as the rest a valiant Englishman, 

Brave John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, 

As by his scutcheon plainly may appear. 1 65 

He with a puissant army came to Spain, 

And took our King of Castile prisoner. 
Amb. This is an argument for our viceroy, 

That Spain may not insult for her success, ( 

Since English warriors likewise conquer 'd Spain, 170 

And made them bow their knees to Albion. 
King. Hieronimo, I drink to thee for this device, 

W T hich hath pleas'd both the Ambassador and me : 

Pledge me Hieronimo, if thou love the king. 

Takes the cup of HORATIO. 

My lord, I fear we sit but over-long, 175 

Unless our dainties were more delicate : 

152. Albion,] 1592; Albion. Manly. 153. diadem.] /5 % 9^; diadem, 
Manly. 174. the] 75.9.?; thy Schick. 

153.] Manly takes this line with the following and not with the preceding 

1 74. 1. of] from. 

176. Unless] See note at in. x. 36-8. 


But welcome are you to the best we have. 

Now let us in, that you may be despatched, 

I think our council is already set. Exeunt ornnes. 

Andrea. Come we for this from depth of underground, 
To see him feast that gave me my death's wound ? \ 
I These pleasant sights are sorrow to my soul, | 
Nothing but league, and love, and banqueting ! 

Revenge. Be still Andrea, ere we go from hence, ^ 
rilturn their* friendship into fell despite, 1 
Their* love to mortal hate, their day to night, 1 
Their*hope into despair, their peace to war, 1 
Their jojs to pain, their bliss to misery. ' 

I. v. 4. banqueting !] banqueting ? 1592. 

Act II 

[ii. i] 


Lor. My lord, though Bel-imperia seem thus coy, 
" Let reason hold you in your wonted joy : 

In time the savage bull sustains the yoke, 

In time all haggard hawks will stoop to lure, 

In time small wedges cleave the hardestoak, 5 

In time the flint is pierc'd with softest shower, '^ 

And she in time will fall from her disdain, 

And rue the sufferance of your friendly pain. 
Bal. No, she is wilder, and more hard withal, 

Than beast, or bird, or tree, or stony wall. 10 

But wherefore blot I Bel-imperia's name ? 

It is my fault, not she, that merits blame. 

Act n] Actus Secundus. 1592. 

i. coy] unresponsive. 

3-10.] from Watson's Hecatompathia (Stationers' Register, 1582), Son- 
net XLVII: 'In time the Bull is brought to weare the yoake; / In time all 
haggred Haukes will stoope the Lures ; / In time small wedge will cleaue the 
sturdiest Oake ; / In time the Marble weares with weakest shcwres : / More 
fierce is my swcete loue, more hard withall, / Then Beast, or Birde, then 
Tree, or Stony wall.' Watson notes his debt to Serafino's iO3rd Sonnet, but 
R. S. Forsythe (P.Q., v (1926), 78-84) notes analogues and sources nearer 
home in Gascoigne, etc. ; the images were extremely popular. 

4. stoop to lure] the technical phrase for hawks, while they are being 
trained, coming down to their food (haggard = untamed). 

8. sufferance] patient endurance, long-suffering. 

9-28.] Balthazar's speech was famous: Boas quotes N. Field's take-off: 
*Yet might she love me for my dimpled chin. / Ay, but she sees your beard 
is very thin' (A Woman is a Weather -cocke, 1609, 1. ii. 345-6). 

12.] * It is my shortcomings that are to blame, not Bel-imperia's nature.' 
Fault in a milder sense (O.E.D., sb. 3 3b) than at in. ii. 1 1 1. 



f My feature is not to contcn^hcr sight, 
My words are rude and work her no delight. 
The lines I send her are but harsh and ill, 1 5 

Such as do drop from Pan and Marsyas' quill. 
My presents are not of sij^cient cost, 
And being worthless all myjafeour's lost. si< t^ 

1 Yet might she love me for my valiancy, 
Ay, but that's slander'd by captivity, i 20 

Yet might she love me to content her sire, 
Ay, but her reason masters his desire. 
Yet might she love me as her brother's friend, 
Ay, but her hopes aim at some other end. 
Yet might she love me to uprear her state, 25 

Ay, but perhaps ^he hopes some nobler mate. v 
Yet might she love me as her beauty's thrall, 
Ay, but I fear she cannot love at all. 
Lorfffty lord, for my sake leave these ecstasies, 

A And doubt not but we'll find some remedy : 30 

(I Some^cause there is that lets you not be lov'd : 

r Eirst that must needs be known and then remov'd. 

yWhat if my sister love some other knight ? ( 
ffq/. My summer's day will turn to winter's nighL ^ 

27. beauty's] / 6/5; beauteous 1592; duteous conj. MSR ( 1592). 29. these 
ecstasies] 1592; this ecstasy S chick. 

13. feature] form, shape (O./?.D. } sb., i), not the face in particular. 

1 6. Pan and Marsyas] gods who had foolishly challenged Apollo to con- 
tests in flute-playing. 

quill is a reed and not a pen. 

20. slander'd] brought into disrepute (O.E.D., v., 2). 

21-2.] Cf. the stychomyth in Gamier 's Bradamante, u. i. *Elle doit 
approuver ce qui plaist a son pere. / L 'amour ne se gouverne a Tappe'tit 

27. beauty's thrall] The emendation accepted here is found first in Jon- 
son's quotation rather free quotation of the lines, in Poetaster (1601), 
in. iv. 221, fourteen years before it appeared in any edition of The Spanish 
Tragedy. The phrase is found in Soliman andPerseda, IV. iii. 6. 

29. ecstasies] unreasoning passions (lit. 'state of being outside oneself). 
Schick and Boas read this ecstasy for the sake of the rhyme, but that is to 
improve, not to emend. 


Lor. I have already found a stratagem 35 

To sound the bottom of this doubtful theme. 
My lord, for once you shall be rul'd by me, 
Hinder me not whate'er you hear or see. 
[By force or fair jtngaus WJU I Cftst* 

o _fiii4the tmtlxofall this, .question .oujk^ 4C 

Ho, Pedringano ! 

Fed. Signior! p ^ 

Lor. Vien qui presto. &* 


Fed. Hath your lordship any service to command me ? 
Lor. Ay Pedringano, service of import : 

And not to spend the time in trifling words, 

Thus stands the case ; it is not long thou know'st, 45 

Since'I did shield thee from my father's wrath 

For thy conveyance in Andrea's love, 1 

For which thou wert adjudg'd to punishment. * 
1 1 stood betwixt thee and thy punishment : ^ ** 

And since* thou know'st how I have favour'd thee. 50 

Now to these favours will I add reward, 

Not with fair words, but store of golden coin, ( 

And lands and living join'd with dignities, 

If thou but satisfy my just demand. 

Tell truth and have me for thy lasting friend. 55 

Fed. Whate'er it be your lordship shall demand, 

My bounden duty bids me tell the truth, 

If case it lie in me to tell the truth. 
Lor. Then, Pedringano, this is my demand : 

Whom loves my sister Bel-imperia ? 60 

) For she reposeth all her trust in thee: 

41. qui] Collier; que 1592. 48. punishment] 1592; banishment Dodsley. 
53. living] 1592; liuings 1602. 

37. for once} on this occasion (not implying a unique occasion). 
41. Vien qui presto] Come here quickly (It.). 
47. conveyance} clandestine or underhand service (O.E.D., I ib). 
58. If case} if it happens that ('if case be that . . .'). 


Speak man, and gain both friendship and reward : l 

I mean, whom loves she in Andrea's place ? 
Fed. Alas my lord, since Don Andrea's death, 

I have no credit with her as before, 65 

And therefore know not if she love or no. 
Lor\ Nay, if thou dally then I am thy foe, [Draw his sword.} 

And fear shall force what friendship cannot win. 

Thy death shall bur^what thy life conceals^ 

Thou dicst for more esteeming her than me. j 70 

Fed. Ostay^myiord! 
Lor) Yet speak the truthTand I will guerdon thee, 

And shield thee from whatever can ensue, 

And will conceal whate'er proceeds from thee, 
i But if thou dally once again, thou diest. j 75 

Fed. IfMadamBel-imperiabeinlove 

Lor. What, villain, ifs and ands ? [Offer to kill him.] 

Fed. O stay my lord, she loves Horatio. BALTHAZAR starts back. 
Lor. What, Don Horatid our Knight Marshal's son ? ' 
Fed. Even him my lord. 80 

Lori Now say but how know'st thou he is her love, 

(And thou shalt find me kind and liberal : ^ 

Stand up I say, and fearless tell the truth. I 
PedJ She sent him letters which myself perus'd, \ 

/ Full fraught with lines and arguments of lovel 85 

Lori Swear on this cross, that what thou say'st is true, 

And that thou wilt conceal what thou hast told. 1 
Fed. I swear to both by him that made us all. 
Lor. ( In hope thine oath is true, here's thy reward, 90 

But if I prove thee perjur'd and unjust, 

This very sword whereon thou took'st thine oath, 

Shall be the worker of thy tragedy, i 

67. [Draw his sword.]] 1602; not in 1592. 77. [Offer to kill him.]] 1602; 
not in 1592. 81. say] Dodsley; say, 1592. know'st thou] 1592; thou 
know'st Dodsley. 

87. this cross] i.e., his sword-hilt. 


Fed. What I have said is true, and shall for me 

Be still conceal'd from Bel-imperia. 95 

Besides, 1 your honour's liberality 

Deserves my duteous service, even till death. ' 
Lor. Let this be all that thou shalt do for me : \ 
A Be watchful when, and where, these lovers rneet^ 

And give me notice in some secret sort, i 100 

Fed. I will my lord. < ^-> f > 

Lor. Then shalt thou find that I amjiberal : 

Thou know'st that I can more advance thy state 

Than she, 1 be therefore wise and fail me not. 

Go and attend her as thy custom is, 105 

Lest absence make her think thou dost amiss, i 


Why so : tarn armis quam ingenio: 
^Wherejwords prevaiLnpt, violence prevails^ i 
/But gold ^tlnnore than^either of them .both. J "X " 
How likes Prince Balthazar this stratagem ? no 

"Both well, and ill : it makes me glad and sad : 
^ Glad, that I know the hinderer of my love, 
Sad, that I fear she hates me whom I love, i 
Glad^that I know_on ^(wn^tq^jeveng'd, 
Sad^^atjshe'llfly jneif I takejgvenge. 115 

Yet must I take revenge or die myself,\ 
For love resisted grows impatient. 
I think Horatio be my destin'd plague : 
First in his hand he brandished a sword, 
And with that sword he fiercely waged war, 120 

And in that war he gave me dangerous wounds, 
And by those wounds he forced me to yield, 

107. tarn armis quam ingenio] as much by force as by guile. Cf. the com- 
mon tarn Marti quam Mercurio. 

ill.} Cf. Hero and Leander (1593), 'But love resisted once, grows pas- 
sionate' (n, 139) ; the sentence is frequently found in the figurative language 
of proverbs; cf. Tilley F26s, 8929. 

1 19-29.] F. G. Hubbard may well be right in suggesting that these lines 
echo Watson's Hecatompathia, XLI (P.M.L.A., xx (1905), 366-7). 


And by my yielding I became his slave. 

Now in his mouth he carries pleasing words, 
) Which pleasing words do harbour sweet conceits,V 125 

Which sweet conceits are lim'd with sly deceits, 

Which sly deceits smooth Bel-imperia's ears. 

And through her ears dive down into her heart, 

And in her heart set him where I should stand. 

Thus hath he ta'en my body by his force, 130 

And now by sleight would captivate my soul : 

But in his fall I'll tempt the destinies, 

And either lose myjjteT or^Hmyjwe. ^ 
Lor. Let's go my lord, your staying stays revenge^ 
"^ Do you but follow me and gain your love : \ 135 

( Her favouj^ustjbgjyon by his remove*-. I Exeunt. 

[n. ii] 


Hor. Now Madam, since by favour of your love 
) Our hidden smoke is turn'd to open flame, 
J And that with looks and words we feed our thoughts 
(Two chief contents, where more cannot be had), 
Thus in the midst of love's fair blandishments, 5 

Why show you sign of inward languishments ? 

PEDRINGANO showeth all to the PRINCE and LORENZO, 
placing them in secret [above]. 

n. ii. 3. thoughts] i594i though [ ] 1592. 6.2. [a&we]] This ed.; not 
in 1592. 

126. lim'd] i.e., made into snares. 

127. smooth] flatter (O.E.D., v., 53). 

ii. ii. 6.1-2.] 75.9.2 has two directions concerning the eavesdropping: the 
second, after 1. 17, 'Balthazar aboue.', is omitted here, and above trans- 
ferred to the end of the first direction. The double direction in 1592 may be 
explained in three ways : (i) the conspirators enter at 1. 6 'and proceed un- 
seen by the lovers to the gallery, where at 1. 17 they remain "above" watch- 
ing* (Mcllwraith) ; (ii) the earlier direction is the author's and the later an 
addition by the book-keeper for stage-purposes ; (iii) both directions are the 


Bel My heart, sweet friend, is like a ship at sea: 
She wisheth port, where riding all at ease, 
She may repair what stormy times have worn, 
And leaning on the shore, may sing with joy 10 

*That pleasure follows pain, and bliss annoy.f 
\Possession of thy love is th' only port 
\Wherein my heart, with fears and hopes long toss'd, I 
Each hour doth wish and long to make resort, 
There to repair the joys that it hath lost, 15 

And sitting safe, to sing in Cupid's quire 
That sweetest bliss is crown of love's desire. 

Bal. O sleep mine eyes, see not my love profan'd, 
Be deaf my ears, hear not my discontent, 
Die heart, another joys what thou deserv'st. 20 

LorJiWatch still mine eyes, to see this love dis join'd, 
jHear still mine ears, to hear them both lament, 
. I Live heart, to joy at fond Horatio's fall. 

Bel. Why stands Horatio speechless all this while ? 

Hor. The less I speak, the more T ippditat^, 25 

Bel. But whereon dost thou chiefly meditate ? 


9. may] 1602; mad 1592; made 7534. 17.1. A] Balthazar aboue 1592; 
Balthazar and Lorenzo alone 1610, ~ aside Dodsley; ~ above Schick. 
19. my ears] 1592; mine ears 1615. 

author's, the second being made currente calamo to clarify what is not 
obvious from the previous direction, namely, from what part of the stage 
Balthazar speaks. The putative action in (i) is cumbersome and unneces- 
sary; with (i) and with (ii), one would expect Balthazar and Lorenzo above; 
many editors emend the text so. One would expect the book-keeper to 
amend the original direction if clarity for the stage was his intention. (The 
question of whether there is any evidence for the book-keeper's hand in 
1592 is discussed in the Textual Introduction, pp. xxxi-xxxii.) In accept- 
ing (iii) I make an emendation which would serve the author's intention. 

ii.] Proverbial wisdom usually contradicts Bel-imperia, as perhaps we 
are meant to recognize (cf. Tilley 8908 and P4O8). Watson's Teares of 
Fancie (published posthumously in 1593) appears to give the phrase the lie 
direct : 'So haue I found and now too deerely trie, / That pleasure doubleth 
paine and blisse annoy.' Yet it was a 'T.W.' who may be Watson who 
wrote, 'Pleasure is the end of lingring smarts' (Phoenix Nest, 1593, ed. 
Rollins, p. 98). 

23. fond] foolish or infatuated. 


Hor. On dangers past, and pleasures to ensue. 

Bed: On pleasures past, and dangers to ensue. V 

Bel. What dangers and what pleasures dost thou mean ? 

Hor. Dangers of war, and pleasures of our love. 30 

L0r ./Dangers of death, but pleasures none at all. t 

Bel. Let dangers go, thy war shall be with me, 

But such a war, as breaks no bond of peace. 
j Speak thou fair words, I'll cross them with fair words, 

Send thou sweet looks, Fll meet them with sweet looks, I 35 

Write loving lines, I'll answer loving lines, 

Give me a kiss, I'll countercheck thy kiss : 

Be this our warring peace, or peaceful war. 
Hor} But gracious madam, then appoint the field 

Vwhere trial of this war shall first be made.) 40 

Bal. Ambitious villain, how his boldness grows ! */ 
Bel. Then be thy father's pleasant bower the fielcj, 

Where first we vow'd a mutual amity : 

The court were dangerous, that place is safe. 

Our hour shall be when Vesper gins to rise, 45 

That summons home distressful travellers. 
J There none shall hear us but the harmless birds : J 

Happily the gentle nightingale 

Shall carol us asleep ere we be ware, 

And singing with the prickle at her breast, 50 

-Tell our delight and mirthful dalliance. 
' Till then each hour will seem a year and more. 
Hor. But honey sweet, and honourable love, 

Return we now into your father's sight : 

33. war] Dodsley; warring 

33. war] /5,9^'s warring jars both metrically and rhetorically; the com- 
positor's eye may have caught the word from 1. 38. 

42. bower] See note on arbour, n. iv. 53. 

46. travellers] labourers ('travailers'). 

48. Happily] haply (which would be a preferable reading, were the line 
not already short of a syllable). 

50. prickle at her breast] i.e., to keep her sharp woes waking, as Shake- 
speare and common legend have it. 


Dangerous suspicion waits on our delight. / 55 

Lor. Ay, ! ldanger mix'd with jealious despitel<*k u>ou,i*M 

Shall send thy soul into eternal night. W ' ^ '* -t*yy ) Exeunt. 

r* \J 

[II. iii] 

Enter KING of Spain, Portingale AMBASSADOR, 


King. Brother of Castile, to the prince's love 

What says your daughter Bel-imperia ? 
Cast* Although she coy it as becomes her kind, 

And yet dissemble that she loves the prince, 

I doubt not, I, but she will stoop in time. / 5 

And were she froward, which she will not be, 

Yet herein shall she follow my advice, 

Which is to love him or forgo my love. 
King. Then, Lord Ambassador of Portingale, 

Advise thy king to make this marriage up, 10 

For strengthening of our late-confirmed league : 

I know no better means to make us friends. 

Her dowry shall be large and liberal : | 

Besides that she is daughter and half-heir 

Unto our brother here, Don Cyprian, 15 

And shall enjoy the moiety of his land, v 

I'll grace her marriage with an uncle's gift, v' 

And this it is : in case the match go forward, TV ^ ^ 

The tribute which you pay shall be releas'd, ^ 

56. mix'd] 1592; mixed Hawkins. jealious] conj. Kittredge; iealous 1592. 
II. iii. ii. league:] league. 1602; league, 1592; league Collier. 

56. jealious] a common enough form which saves the metre; Schick 
accepted Kittrcdge's suggestion, once he knew about it. 

n. iii. 3. coy it] affect reserve. 

as becomes her kind] as it is her natural disposition as a woman to do. 

ii.] The punctuation of 1592 leaves us free to take the line with either its 
predecessor or its successor; Collier took the latter conjunction : the former 
(following / 602) is preferred here. There is but slight alteration in sense. 

1 6. moiety] half-share. 


And if by Balthazar she have a son, ^/ 20 

He shall enjoy the kingdom after us. ^x 
Amb. I'll make the motion to my sovereign liege, 

And work it if my counsel may prevail. 
King. Do so my lord, and if he give consent, 

I hope his presence here will honour us ( 25 

In celebration of the nuptial day: 

And let himself determine of the time. 
Amb. Will 't please your grace command me aught beside ? 
King. Commend me to the king, and so farewell. 

But where's Prince Balthazar to take his leave ? 30 

Amb. That is perform'd already, my good lord. 
King.* Amongst the rest of what you have in charge, 

The prince's ransom must not be forgot : 

That's none of mine, but his that took him prisoner, 

And well his forwardness deserves reward :\ % 35 

It was Horatio, our Knight Marshal's son. 
Amb. Between us there's a price already pitch'd, 

And shall be sent with all convenient speed. 
King. Then once again farewell my lord. 

Amb. Farewell my lord of Castile and the rest. Exit. 40 

King. Now brother, you must take some little pains 

To win fair Bel-imperia from her will : 

(Young virgins must be ruled by their friends, f 

The prince is amiable and loves her well, 

If she neglect him and forgo his love, 45 

She both will wrong her own estate and ours : 

Therefore, whiles I do entertain the prince 

With greatest pleasure that our court affords, 

Endeavour you to win your daughter's thought : 

If she give back, all this will come to naught. Exeunt. 50 

49. thought] 1615; thoughts 15,9.2. 

37. pitch'd] settled, determined. 

38. all convenient speed] as quickly as possible. 
42. will] wilfulness. 

50. give back] i.e., 'turn her back on us'; cf. O.E.D., back, sb. 1 , 24d. The 
usual meaning, to retreat or yield, is clearly inappropriate. 


[II. iv] 


Hor. Now that the night begins with sable wings 

To overcloud the brightness of the sun, 

r And that in darkness pleasures may be done, 1 

Come Bel-imperia, let us to the bower. 

And therein safety'pass'a pleasant hourf ? ^ 5 

Bel. I follow thee my love, and will not back, 

Although my fainting heart controls my soul. 
Hor. Why, make you doubt of Pedringano's faith ? 
Bel. No, 1 he is as trusty as my second self. 1 1 ^ 

Go Pedringano, watch without the gate, 10 

And let us know if any make approach. 
Fed. [aside.] Instead of watching, I'll deserve more gold 

By fetching Don Lorenzo to this match. Exit PEDRINGANO. 
Hor. What means my love ? 
Bel. I know not what myself: 

jcf yet my heart foretells me some mischance. 1 ^ A 15 

Sweet say not so, fair fortune is our friend, 
adhcWjns have snut up day topleasurcus. 

nie'starSjj^^ their twinkling shine, 

lAnd Luna hides herself to pleasure us.\ 
Bel. ThouTiast prevailed, Fll conquer my misdoubt, 20 

And in thy love and counsel drown my fear : 

I fear no more, love now is all my thoughts. 

Why sit we not ? for pleasure asketh ease. 
Hor. The more thou sit'st within these leavy bowers, 

The more will Flora deck it with her flowers. 25 

Bel. Ay, but if Flora spy Horatio here, 

Her jealous eye will think I sit too near. 
Hor. Hark, madam, how the birds record by night, 

For joy that Bel-imperia sits in sight. 

n. iv. 7. controls] overmasters (i.e., the heart denies the inclinations of the 
28. record] sing. 


Bel. No, Cupid counterfeits the nightingale, 30 

To frame sweet music to Horatio's tale. 
Hor J If Cupid sing, then Venus is not far : 

Ay, thou art Venus or some fairer star/ 
BelAlf I be Venusjhou must needs be Mars, ^ 

| And where Mars rcigneth there must ncedsjbc wars, 35 

Hor. Then thus begin our wars : put forth thy hand, 

That it may combat with my ruder hand. 
Bel. Set forth thy foot to try the push of mine. 
Hor. But first my looks shall combat against thine. 
Bel. Then ward thyself, I dart this kiss at thee. 40 

Hor. Thus I retort the dart thou threw'st at me. 
Bel. Nay then, to gain the glory of the field, 

My twining arms shall yoke and make thee yields. 
Hor. Nay then, my arms are large and strong withal : 

Thus elms by vines are compass'd till theyjfall. 45 

Bel. O let me go, for in my troubled eyes | ^ 

Now may'st thou read that life in passion dies. 
Hor J O stay awhile and I will die with thee, 

/ So shalt thou yield and yet have conquer'd me. 
Bel) Who's there ? Pedringano ! We are betray'd ! 50 


Lor. My lord, away with her, take her aside. 

35. wars] Dodsley; warre 7592. 44. withal] 15943 with [ ] 1592. 
50. Who's there ? Pedringano !] Schick; Whose there Pedringano ? 1592; 
Who's there ? Pedringano ? Hazlitt. 

45.] a common image \ cf. Virgil, Georgics, II, 221 ; see Green, pp. 307-9 
and Tilley V6i. But Horatio ingeniously twists the normal account for his 
own ends j the point is usually that the vine held up the elm in its embraces 
even after the elm was dead an emblem of unswerving friendship. Only 
Horatio (so far as I know) suggests that the vine pulls the elm down. LI. 44- 
5 are quoted (incorrectly) in / Return from Parnassus (ed. Leishman), 
11. 1002-3. 

48.] Harbage considers the sensuality of this passage unusual for the pre- 
Shakespearian public theatre (Shakespeare and the Rival Traditions, pp. 
201-2). For the double meaning in die, see Dry den's song, * Whilst Alexis 
lay prest', in Marriage a la Mode, iv. iii. 


O sir, forbear, your valour is already tried. 

Quickly despatch, my masters. They hang him in the arbour. 


What, will you murder me ? 

Lor] Ay, thus, and thus Ahesgfire the fr\iit? oflove. They stab him. 
Bel. O save his life and let me die for him ! 56 

O save him brother, save him Balthazar : 
lf I lov'd Horatio but he lov'd not me. ' * \l* -,< u 
Bal. But Balthazar loves Bel-imperia. 
Lor. AldlQugl^lusJife were sti!J^nibi|ipU5 proud, 60 

Yet isjie atjhe jdjgjbies^ "ow ^ i-d&oA 
Bel. Murder! murder! Help, Hieronimo, help! 
Lor. Come stop her mouth, away with her. 

Exeunt^ leaving Horatio* s body]. 

[II. v] 

Enter HIERONIMO in his shirty &c. 

Hier. What outcries pluck me from my naked bed, 
63.1. Exeunt[, leaving Horatio's body].] This ed.; Exeunt. 1592. 

53.] There seems every reason for believing that the stage-property 
serving as the arbour (hitherto called bower in the text) was much like that 
illustrated in the famous woodcut on the t.p. of 1615, sc. a trellis-work arch, 
not wide, but quite deep, adorned with 'leaves' ( ?) (so that Isabella may 
call it a 'fatal pine' in iv. ii). There would be a bench for the lovers to sit on. 
Such a property would be an ideal hanging-machine; perhaps it served also 
for Pedringano's gallows. Probably the arbour stood at the back of the stage 
between the doors. Hosley (privately) compares the arbour in Looking 
Glass for London and England, a 'brave arbour* and, though small enough 
to rise from a trap, large enough 'for fair Remilia to desport her in*. It would 
be possible to argue that the arbour was only a conventional tree; Isabella's 
later actions would be more realistic; Hieronimo refers to 'a tree' on which 
his son was hanged at iv. iv. in; the author of the 'Painter scene' clearly 
thought of a tree (see 4th Addition, 11. 6off.). A stage tree was used for 
hangings, cf. Massacre at Paris, 11. 496-7 : 'Lets hang him heere vpon this 
tree . . . They hang him. 9 Arch or tree, hangings were not a difficulty on the 
Elizabethan stage, to judge from their frequency. 

II. v.] It is strictly incorrect to begin a new scene, since the stage is not 
clear, and many recent edd. continue the previous scene. But since it is only 
a corpse that occupies the stage, it has seemed better to follow the tradi- 
tional division. 

I. naked bed] a common phrase, not created by Kyd as an unwary reader 
of Boas' note might suppose; e.g., R. Edwardes in Paradise of Dainty 


And chill my throbbing heart with trembling fear, 

Which never danger yet could daunt before ? 

Who calls Hieronimo ? Speak, here I am. 

I did not slumber, therefore 'twas no dream, 5 

No, no, it was some woman cried for help, 
-'And here within this garden did she cry, ) o )""] t <" ^-^ 
-And in this garden must I rescue her : ' ' ) - l "" 

But stay, what murd'rous spectacle is this ? 

A man hang'd up and all the murderers gone, 10 

*And in my bower, to lay the guilt on me : 
1 This place was made for pleasure not for death/ 

He cuts him down. 

Those garments that he wears I oft have seen 

Alas, it is Horatio my sweet son ! , 

O no, but he that whilom was my son. - toy "^ J 15 

O was it thou that calPdst me from my bed ? 

speak, if any spark of life remain : 

1 am thy father. Who hath slain my son ? 
What savage monster^not of human kind,^ 

Hath here been glutted with thy harmless blood, 20 

And left thy bloody corpse dishonour'd here, 
For me amidst this dark and deathful shades 
To drown thee with an ocean of my tears ? t 
^ O heavens, why made you night to cover sin ? 
By day this deed of darkness had not been. 25 

O earth, why didst thou not in time devour 

22. this] 1592; these 1633. 

Devices (1576): 'In going to my naked bed as one that would have slept'. 

15. whilom] formerly, in the past. 

17.] Cf. Shakespeare's 'If any spark of life be yet remaining', 3 Henry VI, 
V. vi. 66. 

20.] For a parallel in Marlowe, see the end of Appendix C. 

22. this] 1633'$ these is followed by most edd. (not Schick 2 ) and may be 
less awkward to modern ears, but this is a form of the plural found up to 
1622 (apud O.E.D., s.v. these, Illustration of Forms, y). It is used again 
before a double epithet at in. ix. 4. Cf. Shakespeare, 'this two days', 'this 
twenty years' (Schmidt, s.v. this). Even later examples may be found in 
Massinger, Bondman, i. i. 21, 'this wars'; Picture, v. iii. 216, 'upon this 


The vild profaner of this sacred bower ? 

O poor Horatio, what hadst thou misdone, 

To leese thy life ere life was new begun ? 

O wicked butcher, whatsoe'er thou wert, 30 

How could thou strangle virtue and desert ? 

Ay me most wretched, that have lost my joy, 

In leesing my Horatio, my sweet boy ! 


Isab.fMy husband's absence makes my heart to throb t 

/ Hieronimo ! / 35 

Him Here Isabella, help me to lament, 

/ For sighs are stopp'd, and all my tears are spent. 
hah) What world of grief My son Horatio ! 

/) O where's the author of this endless woe ? > 
Hier. To know the author were some case of grief, ^ /?'^', A 
1 " For in revenge my heart would find reliefer, 
Isab. Then is he gone ? and is my son gone too ? > 
O gush out, tears, fountains and floods of tears j 
Blow, sighs, and raise an everlasting storm : j 
For outrage fits our cursed wretchedness . -* 45 , 

Hier. Sweet lovely rose, ill-pluck'd before thy time, i First Addition; 
^^ - t , ,, , , * seep. 122] 

Fair worthy son, not conquer d but betray d : * 

I'll kiss thee now, for words with tears are stay'd. 
Isab. And I'll close up the glasses of his sight, 

For once these eyes were only my delight. 50 

31. could] 1592; could'st 1602. 48. stay'd] staide 1603; stainde 1592. 

29. leese] lose; not uncommon, but conquered by the modern form dur- 
ing the following century. 

new begun] i.e., after the wars ? 

38. What world of grief ] not an exclamation, as previous edd. imply, 
but the start of a remark which is broken off as Isabella recognizes the body. 

45. outrage] passionate behaviour. 

46. Sweet lovely rose] So Hotspur refers to the dead Richard, / Henry IV, 
I. iii. 175. Cf. also Soliman andPerseda, v. iv. 81 : 'Faire springing Rose, ill 
pluckt before thy time' (Sarrazin). 

49. glasses of his sight] Boas compares Coriolanus> ill. ii. 117: ' and 
schoolboys' tears take up / The glasses of my sight.' 


Hier. Seest thou this handkercher besmear'd with blood ? 

If shall notftom me till FfaEe FcvengeT "" ~ 

v Seest thou those rwounSsHiaTyet are bleeding fresh ? 

I'll not entomb them till I have reveng'd : 

Then will I joy amidst my discontent, 55 

Till then my sorrow never shall be spent. 
hob. The_heavens are just, murder cannot be hid, 
11 Time is the author bothjof truth and right, ' r 

And time will bring this treachery to lighL 
Hier. Meanwhile, good Isabella, cease thy plaints, 60 

Or at the least dissemble them awhile : 

So shall we sooner find the practice out, 

And learn by whom all this was brought about. 

Come Isabel, now let us take him up, They take him up. 

And bear him in from out this cursed place. 65 

I'll say his dirge, singing fits not this case. 

O aliquis mihi quas pulchrum ver educat herbas 

HIERONIMO sets his breast unto his sword. 

54. reveng'd] 1592; reuenge 1623. 67. ver] 1594; var 1592. educat] 
1615; educet 1592. 

51-2.] Compare the use of the napkin dipped in Rutland's blood in 
3 Henry VI> I. iv. 79-80 and 157-9. Since the incident is not in Shake- 
speare's source, he may have borrowed the idea from Kyd. 

54. revenged} 1623*5 reading is preferred by Hazlitt and Schick. The only 
argument can be one of balancing 1. 52, for this absolute or intransitive use 
of the verb is common. 

57. murder cannot be hid] a well-worn axiom; for some 16th-century 
examples, see Tilley Mi3i5. 

58-9.] proverbial; Tilley T324. 

62. practice] contrivance, evil-scheming. 

67-80.] 'A pastiche, in Kyd's singular fashion, of tags from classical 
poetry, and lines of his own composition' (Boas). There are reminiscences 
of Lucretius, Virgil, and Ovid. The emendation herbarum for irraui (1. 73) is 
indefensible, except on theground of sense and the source in Tibullus which 
was suggested by Traube (see Schick's note). 'Let someone mix for me 
herbs which the beautiful spring brings forth, and let a medicine be given 
for our pain : or let him offer juices, if there are any which will bring oblivion 
to our minds. I shall myself gather whatever herbs the sun brings forth, 
throughout the mighty world, into the fair realms of light. I shall myself 
drink whatever poison the sorceress contrives, whatever herbs, too, the 


Misceat, et nostor detur medicina dolori; 
Aut, siquifaciunt animis oblivia, succos 

Praebeat; ipse metam magnum quaecunque per orbem 70 

Gramina Solpulchras effert in luminis or as; 
Ipse bibam quicquid meditatur saga veneni* 
Quicquid et herbarum vi caeca nenia nectit: 
Omniaperpetiar, lethum quoque, dum semel omnis 
Noster in extincto moriatur pectore sensus. 75 

Ergo tuos oculosnunquam, mea vita, videbo, 
Et tuaperpetuus sepelivit lumina somnus ? 
Emoriar tecum, sic, sicjuvat ire sub umbras. 
At tamen absistam pr operate cedere letho, 
Ne mortem vindicta tuam turn nulla sequatur. 80 

Here he throws it from him and bears the body away. 

69. animis] conj. D. R. Dudley; annum 1592; annorum Hawkins. oblivia] 
Hawkins; obhmia 1592. 70. metam] Hawkins; metum 1592. magnum] 
I 594> magnam 1 591'. quaecunque] Hawkins; quicunque 1592. j I . effert 
in luminis oras] conj. Traube; effccit in luminis oras 1592; ejecit lucis in oras 
Hawkins. 72. venem] 1594; venen 1592. 73. herbarum] Schick; irraui 
1592; irarum Hawkins. vi caeca] Hawkins; euecceca 1592. nenia] 
Hawkins; menia 1592. 75. pectore] 1594; pectora 1592. 80. turn] 
Hawkins; tarn 1592. 

goddess of spells weaves together by her secret power. All things I shall 
essay, death even, until all feeling dies at once in my dead heart. Shall I 
never again, my life, see your face, and has eternal sleep buried your 
light ? I shall die with you so, so would I rejoice to go to the shades 
below. But none the less, I shall keep myself from a hasty death, in case 
then no revenge should follow your death.' 

80. i. and bears the body away] perhaps and they bear ? The action is not 
very clear, and the directions may indicate revision, second thoughts, or the 
book-keeper's hand. They take him up at 1. 64, but Hieronimo cannot be 
holding him while he sets his breast unto his sword (1. 67) or throws it [his 
sword ?] from him. It is arguable (see Introduction, p. xxxii) that the text is 
a conflation of a literary version and an abridged version for the stage in 
which the dirge is omitted; if so, the first They take him up would be the 
sole direction before Exeunt. But in spite of clear inconsistency, the direc- 
tions in the text may be found actable : Hieronimo and Isabella tend and 
half-raise the body, which Isabella supports while Hieronimo recites the 
dirge. Hieronimo then lifts the body and carries it offstage in his arms. 


[II. Vi] 

Andrea. Brought'st thou me hither to increase my pain ^ 

' I look'd that Balthazar should have been slain : 

But 'tis my friend Horatio that is slain,' 

And they abuse fair Bel-imperia, 

On whom I doted more than all the world, 5 

Because she lov'd me more than all the world. 
Revenge. IThou talk'st of harvest when the corn is green : I J 
/ The end is crown of every work well done : 
1 The sickle comes not till the corn be ripe. | 

Be still, and ere I lead thee from this place, 10 

I'll show thee Balthazar in heavy case. 

n. vi. 5. On] 1399; Or 1592. 

II. vi. 8.] a version of one of the commonest sayings. Finis coronal opus. 
Cf. 'T.W.', 'The end of eu'ry worke doth crowne the same* (Phoenix Nest, 
ed. Rollins, p. 98). 

Act III 

[in. i] 

Enter VICEROY of Portingale, Nobles, VILLUPPO. 

Vice. Infortunate condition of kings, 

Seated amidst so many helpless doubts ! 
First we are plac'd upon extremest height, 
And oft supplanted with exceeding heat, 
JJguf ever subject fO tfrf; w^ pf>1 " f rhanry \ 5 

lAnd at our highest never joy^wgjso* 
(Aswe both doubt and dread our overthrow. 

So striveth not the waves with sundry winds 
' As fortune toileth in the affairs of kings/ 

That would be fear'd, yet fear to be belov'd, 10 

Sith fear or love to kings is flattery : 

For instance lordings, look upon your king, 

By hate deprived of his dearest son, 

The only hope of our successive line. 
/ Nob. I had not thought that Alexandra's heart 1 5 

Had been envenom'd with such extreme hate : 

But now I see that words have several works, 

Act in] Actus Tertius 1592. o.i. Nobles, VILLUPPO] Brooke; Nobles, 
Alexandra, Villuppo 1592. 4. heat] 1592; hate 1599. 15. / Nob.] 
Nob. 1592. 

i-ii.] an adaptation of Seneca's Agamemnon, 57-73 (Boas). 

4. heat} All edd. read hate with 1599, but the reading has no authority and 
there is not the slightest reason for suspecting that heat is wrong : the mean- 
ing of passion, anger, or fury is regular and common. 

8. striveth] The inversion makes permissible what is for us a false con- 
cord; it is unlikely that we have here the rare plural in -th (cf. Franz, 156). 

ii. Sith] since. 

17. words have several works] i.e., words are not always related to deeds. 



And there's no credit in the countenance. 
Vill. No ; for, my lord, had you beheld the train 

That feigned love had colour'd in his looks, 20 

When he in camp consorted Balthazar, 

Far more inconstant had you thought the sun, 

That hourly coasts the centre of the earth, 

Than Alexandra's purpose to the prince. 
Vice. No more Villuppo, thou hast said enough, 25 

And with thy words thou slay'st our wounded thoughts. 

Nor shall I longer dally with the world, 

Procrastinating Alexandra's death : 

Go some of you and fetch the traitor forth, 

That as he is condemned he may die. 30 

Enter ALEXANDRO with a Nobleman and Halberts. 

2 Nob.\ In such extremes will naught but patience serve. | 
Alex. But in extremes what patience shall I use ? 

Nor discontents it me to leave the world, 

With whom there nothing can prevail but wrong. 
2 Nob. Yet hope the best. 
Alex. || 'Tis Heaven is my hope. 35 

Asjor the carthjjt is too much infect 

To yield me hope of any of her mould. U 
Vice. Why linger ye ? Bring forth that daring fiend 

26. slay'st] slaicst 1592; stalest Boas. 31. 2 Nob.] Nob. 1592. 

18.] Cf. Duchess of Malfi> I. i. 250; Alacbeth, I. iv. 1 1-12. 

19-20.] Villuppo is a little confused : what he says is : 'had you beheld the 
treachery [train] which feigned love had disguised [colour'd] in his looks . . .' 
But the point is that the treachery could not be seen. He means, 'Had you 
beheld the feigned love in his looks, disguising the treachery of his heart . . .' 

22-3.] from Gamier 's Cornelie^ Act II, but whereas Gamier uses the per- 
petual movement of the heavens and the seasons as an image of mutability, 
Kyd stresses the constancy of the regular cycles of the sun. Once again Kyd 
recalled the lines here when making his translation oiCorndlie. 

23. the centre of the earth] 'this centre of the universe, the earth*. 

26. slay'st] Boas' stalest appears to derive from a misreading of the liga- 
ture fl. 

30.1. Halberts] i.e., Halberdiers. 


And let him die for his accursed deed. 
Alex. Not that I fear the extremity of death, 40 

For nobles cannot stoop to servile fear, 

Do I, O king, thus discontented live. 

But this, O this, torments my labouring soul, 

That thus I die suspected of a sin, 

Whereof, as heavens have known my secret thoughts, 45 

So am I free from this suggestion. 
Vice. No more, I say ! to the tortures ! when ! 

Bind him, and burn his body in those flames 

They bind him to the stake. 

That shall prefigure those unquenched fires 

Of Phlegethon prepared for his soul. 50 

Alex. My guiltless death will be aveng'd on thee, 

On thee, Villuppo, that hath malic'd thus, 

Or for thy meed hast falsely me accus'd. 
Vill. Nay Alexandro, if thou menace me, 

Til lend a hand to send thee to the lake & ^' r "" 55 

Where those thy words shall perish with thy works, 

Injurious traitor, monstrous homicide! 


Amb. Stay, hold a while, 
x And here, with pardon of his majesty, 

Lay hands upon Villuppo. 
Vice. Ambassador, 60 

What news hath urg'd this sudden entrance ? 
Amb. Know, sovereign lord, that Balthazar doth live. 

58-61. Stay . . . while, / And . . . majesty, / Lay . . . Ambassador, / What . . . 
entrance ?] Schick; Stay . . . Maiestie, / Lay . . . Villuppo. / Embassadour 
. . . entrance ? 75.9:?. 

46. suggestion] false accusation (O.E.D., 3). 

47. when !] a common exclamation denoting impatience; the successive 
editors of Dodsley (including Hazlitt) emended to to the tortures with him I 

52. malic'd] entertained malice. A rare intransitive usage (O.E.D., v. y 2). 

53. meed] reward. 

55. lake] infernal, of course. 

61. entrance] trisyllabic. Cf. Romeo & Juliet, I. iv. 8. 


Vice. What say'st thou ? liveth Balthazar our son ?- 
Amb. Your highness' son. Lord Balthazar, doth live; 

And, well entreated in the court of Spain, 65 

Humbly commends him to your majesty. 

These eyes beheld, and these my followers, 

With these, the letters of the king's commends, 

Gives him letters. 

Are happy witnesses of his highness' health. 

The KING looks on the letters, and proceeds. 
Vice. 'Thy son doth live, your tribute is receiv'd, 70 

Thy peace is made, and we are satisfied : 

The rest resolve upon as things propos'd 

For both our honours and thy benefit.' 
Amb. These are his highness' farther articles. 

He gives him more letters. 
Vice. Accursed wretch, to intimate these ills 75 

Against the life and reputation 

Of noble Alexandro ! Come, my lord, 

Let him unbind thee that is bound to death, 

To make a quital for thy discontent. They unbind him. 

Alex. Drga4 ! Qr i1j in ^^^n^ c youj&uldjbnojess, 80 

Ugon report of such^a damned fact; * 
77. Come, my lord,] This ed.; come my Lord vnbinde him. 

68. commends] greetings, compliments (O.E.D., sb., 3). 

77.] See textual notes : the final unbind him of 1592 gives the line thirteen 
syllables; Le Gay Brereton (quoted by Schick 2 ) thought unbind him to be 
the original S.D. Kittredge (quoted by Manly) thought my lord hyper- 
metrical. It is far better that the King's gentler tone, with Come, my lord, 
should mark a turn from Villuppo to Alexandro than to accept with 1592 a 
continuation to the first, i.e., Come) my lord, unbind him!, with a very awk- 
ward transition to a new hearer in the next line. Either the compositor's eye 
has anticipated the direction two lines below or the author has failed to 
strike out a direction placed too early. It is possible the passage as a whole 
contains erasure and rewriting, for Alexandra's first remark after release is 
a reply to an apology which the King has not made. 

79. quital] requital. 

They unbind him] a passive sense only : He is unbound) by Villuppo, as 
the King orders. 

80. in kindness] naturally. 


1 But thus we see our innocence hath sav'd 

The hopeless life which thou, Villuppo, sought 

By thy suggestions to have massacred. 
Vice. Say, false Villuppo ! wherefore didst thou thus 85 

Falsely betray Lord Alexandra's life ? 

Him whom thou know'st that no unkindness else, 

But even the slaughter of our dearest son, 

Could once have mov'd us to have misconceiv'd ? 
Alex. Say, treacherous Villuppo, tell the king, 90 

Or wherein hath Alexandro us'd thee ill ? 
Vill. Rent with remembrance of so foul a deed, 

My guilty soul submits me to thy doom : 

For, not for Alexandro's injuries, 

But for reward, and hope to be preferr'd, 95 

Thus have I shamelessly hazarded his life. 
Vice. Which, villain, shall be ransom'd with thy death, 

And not so mean a torment as we here 

Devis'd for him, who thou said'st slew our son, 

But with the bitterest torments and extremes 100 

That may be yet invented for thine end. 

ALEXANDRO seems to entreat. 

Entreat me not, go take the traitor hence. 

Exit VILLUPPO [guarded]. 

And, Alexandro, let us honour thee 

With public notice of thy loyalty. 

To end those things articulated here 105 

By our great lord, the mighty King of Spain, 

We with our council will deliberate. 

Come, Alexandro, keep us company. Exeunt. 

91. Or] 1592; not in Hazlitt. 

98. mean] temperate, moderate. 


[III. ii] 


Hier. O eyes, no eyes, but fountains fraught with tears ; 

O life, no life, but lively form of death; 

O world, no world, but mass of public wrongs, 

Confus'd and filTd with murder and misdeeds ; 

O sacred heavens ! if this unhallow'd deed, 5 

If this inhuman and barbarous attempt, / 

If this incomparable murder thus 

Of mine, butfnowjriomore my son, 

Shall unreveal'd and unrevenged pass,| 

HowsTiouIcTwe term your dealings to "Be just, 10 

If you unjustly deal with those that in your justice trust ? 

The night, sad secretary to my moans, 

With direful visions wake my vexed soul, 

And with the wounds of my distressful son 

Solicit me for notice of his death. 1 5 

The ugly fiends do sally forth of hell, 

And frame my steps to unfrequented paths, 

And fear my heart with fierce inflamed thoughts. 

The cloudy day my discontents records, 

Early begins to register my dreams 20 

f And drive me forth to seek the murderer. 
I Eyes, life, world, heavens, hell, night, and day, 

in. ii. 13. wake] 1592; wakes Dodsley. 15. Solicit] 1592; Solicits Dodsley. 

in. ii. i.] Rollins, in pointing out the similarity of this line to 'T.W.' 's 
'Mine eies, now eies no more, but seas of teares', notes many Italian and 
French versions of a figure which is commonplace; e.g., Petrarch, Rime, 
161, *oi occhi miei, occhi non gia, ma fonti', or De Baif, 'O mes yeux, non 
plus yeux, mais de pleurs deux fontaines' (Phoenix Nest, p. 201). Hiero- 
nimo's speech became a kind of rally ing-point for all who would pour scorn 
on the absurdities of the Kydean rhetoric; see, e.g., Everyman in his 
Humour, I. v. 57-8 and Introduction, pp. 1 and Ixvii. 

12. secretary to my moans] 'the confidant to whom my moans are uttered* 
(Boas). This phrase is cited in O.E.D., secretary, sb. l 3 ib. 

13. wake] plural for singular, probably by attraction to visions', cf. false 
concords in solicit (1. 15) and drive (1. 21). 

iZ.fear] frighten (O.E.D., v., i). 


See, search, shew, send, some man, some mean, that may 

. A letter falleth. 

What's here ? a letter ? tush, it is not so ! */ 
A letter written to Hieronimo ! Red ink. 25 

Tor want of ink, receive this bloody writ. < 
Me hath my hapless brother hid from thee : 
Revenge thyself on Balthazar and him, 
For these were they that murdered thy son. 
Hieronimo, revenge Horatio's death, 30 

And better fare than Bel-imperia doth.' 
What means this unexpected miracle ? 
My son slain by Lorenzo and the prince ! 
What cause had they Horatio to malign ? 
Or what might move thee, Bel-imperia, 35 

To accuse thy brother, had he been the mean ? 
Hieronimo beware, thou art betray'd, 
And to entrap thy life this train is laid. 
Advise thee therefore, be not credulous : 
This is devised to endanger thee, 40 

That thou by this Lorenzo shouldst accuse, 
And he, for thy dishonour done, should draw 
Thy life in question, and thy name in hate. 
Dear was the life of my beloved son, 

And of his death behoves me be reveng'd : 45 

Then hazard not thine own, Hieronimo, 
But live t' effect thy resolution. 
I therefore will by circumstances try 

23. See . . . may] Manly; Sec . . . some man, / Some . . . may 1592. 26. 
For] 1602; Bel. For 75.9.2. 29. murdered] murdred 1592. 32. What] 
/6'oi>; Hiero What 1592. 

25. Red ink] perhaps an author's instruction; the phrase is otherwise 
inexplicable; see Introduction, p. xxxi. 

34. malign] hate (O.E.D.y v., 4). 

38. train] snare, trap (O.E.D., sb. 2 , ib); cf. in. i. 19. 

48. circumstances] 'circumstantial evidence*. I believe Boas is wrong in 
glossing 'roundabout, indirect methods' and citing in support Merchant of 
Venice, I. i. 154. O.E.D., 6, would confine this usage to speech, 'beating 
about the bush'; Hieronimo is after further information, and we should 


What I can gather to confirm this writ, 

And, heark'ning near the Duke of Castile's house, 50 

Close if I can with Bel-imperia, 

To listen more, but nothing to bewray. 


Now, Pedringano ! 

Fed. Now, Hieronimo ! 

Hier. Where's thy lady ? 
Fed. I know not ; here's my lord. 


Lor. How now, who's this ? Hieronimo ? 

Hier. My lord. 55 

Fed. He asketh for my lady Bel-imperia. 

Lor. What to do, Hieronimo ? The duke my father hath 

Upon some disgrace awhile remov'd her hence, 

\But if it be aught I may inform her of, 

iTell me, Hieronimo, and I'll let her know it. [ 60 

Hier. Nay, nay, my lord, I thank you, it shall not need, 

I had a suit unto her, but too late, 

And her disgrace makes me unfortunate. 
Lor. Why so, Hieronimo ? use me. 

Hier. O no, my lord, I dare not, it must not be. [Second Addition; 

1 11 i i 111- see P- I2 4] 

I humbly thank your lordship. 

Lor. Why then, farewell. 66 

Hier. \ My grief no heart, my thoughts no tongue can tell. J Exit. 
Lor. Come hither Pedringano, seest thou this ? 
Fed. My lord, I see it, and suspect it too. 

Lor. This is that damned villain Serberine, 70 

That hath, I fear, reveal'd Horatio's death. 

53. Now, Pedringano!] S chick; Hiero. Now ^ 1592. 

paraphrase: 'I will try to find out other facts which may give credence to 
this accusation.' by circumstances will be better understood if it is taken 
with confirm and not with try. 


Fed. My lord, he could not, 'twas so lately done, 

And since, he hath not left my company. 
Lor. Admit he have not, his condition's such, 

As fear or flattering words may make him false. 75 

I know his humour, and therewith repent 

That e'er I us'd him in this enterprise. 

But Pedringano, to prevent the worst, 
I And 'cause I know thee secret as my soul, 
I Here for thy further satisfaction take thou this, \ 80 

Gives him more gold. 

And hearken to me thus it is devis'd : 

This night thou must, and prithee so resolve, 
I jyieet Serberine at Saint Luigi's Park 

Thou know'st 'tis here hard by behind the house ; 

There take thy stand, and^see thou strikehim sure, v 85 

For die he must, if we do mean to live.? -| 
Fed. But how shall Serberine be there^my lord ? 
Lor. Let me alone, I'll send to him to meet 

The prince and me, where thou must do this deed. 
Fed. It shall be done, my lord, it shall be done, 90 

And I'll go arm myself to meet him there. 
Lor. When things shall alter, as I hope they will, 

Then shalt thou mount for this : thou know'st my mind. 


Che le leron! 

Enter Page. 

Page. My lord? 

83. Saint Luigi's] Manly, Schick; S. Liugis 1592. 

74. condition] nature, disposition. 

83. Saint Luigi's Park] If the emendation is correct 3 Kyd is incorrect, for 
Luigi is not a Spanish name. 
88. Let me alone] 'trust me'. 

93. mount] Lorenzo enjoys his own jokes; that the same terms can apply 
to promotion or to hanging has already inspired his wit; cf. n. iv. 61. 

94. Che le leron] 'An unintelligible expression, possibly a corruption of 
the page's name' (Boas). 


Lor. Go, sirrah, to Serberine, 

And bid him forthwith meet the prince and me 95 

At Saint Luigi's Park, behind the house 

This evening, boy! 

Page. I go, my lord. 

Lor. But sirrah, let the hour be eight o' clock : 

Bid him not fail. 

Page. I fly, my lord. Exit. 

Lor. Now to confirm the complot thou hast cast 100 

Of all these practices, I'll spread the watch, 

Upon precise commandment from the king, 

Strongly to guard the place where Pedringano 

This night shall murder hapless Serberine. 

Thus must we work that will avoid distrust, 1 05 

Thus must we practise to prevent mishap, 
tl And thus one ill another must expulse. 

This sly enquiry of Hieronimo '( 

For Bel-imperia breeds suspicion, 

And this suspicion bodes a further ill. no 

I As for myself, I know my secret fault ,1 

And so do they, but I have dealt for them. 
\They that for coin their souls endangered, 

To save my life, for coin shall venture theirs : J 

And better it's that base companions die, 115 

Than by their life to hazard our good haps. 

94-7. Go ... Serberine, / And ... me / At ... house / This . . . boy! . . .] 
Boas; Goe . . . forthwith, / Meet . . . Parkc, / Behinde . . . boy. / 1592; 
Go sirrah, /To ... meet / The Prince . . . Park, / Behind . . . boy. . . . 
Manly, Schick. 96. Luigi's] Manly, Schick; Liugis 1592. 98. Lor.] 
1602; not in 1592. 108-9. This . . . Hieronimo / For . . . suspicion,] 
Hawkins; This . . . suspition, 7591'. 115. it's] its 1592; tis 75.9,9. 

100. complot] plot. 

cast] contrived, schemed (O.E.D., v. f 43b). 

107.] The saying is frequently found in one form or another. Tilley 
(Di74) quotes Taverner's translation of Erasmus, 'One disceyt dryueth 
out an other.* 

in. fault] misdeed, offence (O.E.D., 53). For secret faulty see Psalm 19: 
12 (Cover dale). 

115. companions] fellows (used contemptuously). 


/ Nor shall they live, for me to fear their faith : 

/ I'll trust myself, myself shall bemyfriend^ , r 

1 For die they shall, slaves are ordain'd to no other end. f Exit. 

[in. iii] 

Enter PEDRINGANO with a pistol. 

Fed. Now, Pedringano, bid thy pistol hold, 

( And hold on. Fortune ! once more favour me, 

Give but success to mine attempting spirit, | 

And let me shift for taking of mine aim ! 
I Here is the gold, this is the gold propos'd : 5 

It is no dream that I adventure for, / 

But Pedringano is possess'd thereof. 

And he that would not strain his conscience 

For him that thus his liberal purse hath stretch'd, 

Unworthy such a favour may he fail, 10 

And, wishing, want, when such as I prevail. 
| As for the fear of apprehension, 

I know, if need should be, my noble lord 

Will stand between me and ensuing harms : | 

Besides, this place is free from all suspect. 1 5 

Here therefore will I stay and take my stand. 

Enter the Watch. 

/. I wonder much to what intent it is 

That we are thus expressly charg'd to watch. 

2. Tis by commandment in the king's own name. 

3. But we were never wont to watch and ward 20 
So near the duke his brother's house before. 

2. Content yourself, stand close, there's somewhat in't. 

III. iii. I. Fed.] 1602; not in 

in. iii. 4.] 'And Til look after pointing the pistol.' 
15. suspect} suspicion. 

20. watch and ward] patrol, keep a guard. Originally part of the legal defi- 
nition of the duties of a sentinel. 



Ser. Here, Serberine, attend and stay thy pace, 

For here did Don Lorenzo's page appoint 

That thou by his command shouldst meet with him.) 25 

I How fit a place, if one were so dispos'd, 

Methinks this corner is to close withjme/ 
Fed. Here comes the bird that I must seize upon : 

Now, Pedringano, or never play the man ! 
Ser. I wonder that his lordship stays so long, 30 

Or wherefore should he send for me so late ? 
Pedl For this, Serberine, and thou shalt ha't. Shoots the dag. 

j So, there he lies, my promise is perform'd. 

The Watch. 
/. Hark gentlemen, this is a pistol shot. 

2. And here's one slain ; stay the murderer. 35 
Fed. Now by the sorrows of the souls in hell, * 

He strives with the Watch, 
Who first lays hand on me, I'll be his priest. 

3, Sirrah, confess, and therein play the priest, 
Why hast thou thus unkindly kilTd the man ? 

Fed. Why ? because he walk'd abroad so late. 40 

j. Come sir, you had been better kept your bed, 

Than have committed this misdeed so late. 
2. Come, to the Marshal's with the murderer ! 
/. On to Hieronimo's ! help me here 

To bring the murder'd body with us too. 45 

Ped^ Hieronimo !/ Carry me before whom you will : 

Whate'er he be, I'll answer him and you, 

And do your worst, for I defy you all.J Exeunt. 

43. Come,] 1602; Come 1592. 

32. dag] *a kind of heavy pistol or hand-gun' (O.E.D.). 
37. Pllbe his priest] i.e., smooth his passage to the next world, make an end 
of him. See Tilley PS 87 for other examples of the saying. 
39. unkindly] unnaturally. 


[ill. iv] 


Bal. How now my lord, what makes you rise so soon ? 
L0r. l Fear of preventing our mishaps too late. x 
Bal. What mischief is it that we not mistrust ? 
Lor. Our greatest ills we least mistrust, my lord, 

v And inexpected harms do hurt us most.V 5 

Bal. Why, tell me Don Lorenzo, tell me, man, 

If aught concerns our honour and your own. 
Lor. Nor you nor me, my lord, but both in one, 

For I suspect, and the presumption's great, 
I That by those base confederates in our fault 10 

Touching the death of Don Horatio, 

We are betray'd to old Hieronimo.} 
Bal. Betray'd, Lorenzo ? tush, it cannot be. 
Lor. A guilty conscience, urged with the thought 

Of former evils, easily cannot err : 1 5 

I am persuaded, and dissuade me not, 

That all's revealed to Hieronimo. 

And therefore know that I have cast it thus 

[Enter Page.] 

But here's the page. How now, what news with thee ? 
Page. My lord, Serberine is slain. 20 

Bal. Who ? Serberine, my man ? 
Page. Your highness' man, my lord. 
Lor. Speak page, who murdered him ? 
Page. He that is apprehended for the fact. 
Lor. Who ? 25 

in. iv. 5. inexpected] 1599; in expected 1592; unexpected 1623. 18.1. 
[Enter Page.]] 1615; not in 1592. 

in. iv. 2. preventing] in the usual sense of anticipating, being beforehand, 
hence 'Fear of being too late to avert our mishaps'. 

3. mistrust] 'suspect the existence of or anticipate the occurrence of 
[something evil]' (O.E.D., v. y 3). 

24. fact] crime, evil deed. Cf. mod. 'accessary before the fact'. 


Page. Pedringano. 

Bal\ Is Serberine slain, that lov'd his lord so well ?| 

Injurious villain, murderer of his friend ! 
Lor .\Hath Pedringano murder'd Serberine ? I 

My lord, let me entreat you to take the pains 30 

\To exaggerate and hasten his revenge 

Wjt^qi^oomgMnts^unl^my lord the king.i 

Thtsjtheir.djssension breeds ageatcr doubt. 
BaL Assure thee, Don Lorenzo, he shall die, 

Or else his highness hardly shall deny. 35 

Meanwhile, I'll haste the marshal-sessions : 

For die he shall for this his damned deed. Exit BALTHAZAR. 
Lor ./Why so, this fits our former policy, 
^ And thus experience bids the wise to deal. 

I lay the plot, he prosecutes the point, 40 

I set the trap, he breaks the worthless twigs 

And sees not that wherewith the bird was lim'd. 

Thus hopeful men, that mean to hold their own, 

Must look like fowlers to their dearest friends. * 

He runs to kill whom I have holp to catch, 45 

And no man knows it was my reaching fatch. 

'Tis hard to trust unto a multitude, 

Or anyone, in mine opinion, 

When men themselves their secrets will reveal. 

Enter a Messenger with a letter. 

Boy! 50 

Page. My lord. 
Lor. What's he? 

3 1 . exasperate] make harsh. 

35. hardly shall deny] shall show harshness in denying me. The sentiment 
is in keeping with Balthazar's ineffectual character and makes more sense 
of Or else than the usual gloss, e.g., Mcllwraith, 'shall find it hard to refuse'. 

36. marshal-sessions] The Knight Marshal's 'sessions' were called the 
court of Marshalsea; but the correct term was no doubt too English. 

45. holp] helped. Boas compares Tempest, I. ii. 62-3. 

46. reaching] reaching forward, designing, far-seeing. 
fatch] fetch: stratagem, contrivance (O.E.D., fetch, sb. 1 , 2). 


Mes. I have a letter to your lordship. 

Lor. From whence ? 

Mes. From Pedringano that's imprison'd. 

Lor. So, he is in prison then ? 
Mes. Ay, my good lord. 

Lor. What would he with us ? He writes us here 55 

** To stand good lord and help him in distress. 
\ Tell him I have his letters, know his mind, 

And what we may, let him assure him of. \ 

Fellow, begone : my boy shall follow thee. Exit Messenger. 

This works like wax, yet once more try thy wits. 60 

'Boy, go convey this purse to Pedringano : -> ? 

Thou know'st the prison, closely give it him, 

And be advis'd that none be there about.! 

Bid him be merry still, but secret : 

And though the marshal-sessions be today, 65 

Bid him not doubt of his delivery. 

Tell him his pardon is already sign'd, 

And thereon bid him boldly be resolv'd : 

For were he ready to be turned off 

(As 'tis my will the uttermost be tried), 70 

Thou with his pardon shalt attend him still : 

Show him this box, tell him his pardon's in't, 

But open't not, ancHfthoulov^st thy life, 

But let him wisely keep his hopes unknown; 

He shall not want while Don Lorenzo lives. 75 


55-6. What . . . here /To ... distress.] Manly; What . . . vs ? / He writes 
. . . distres. 159.2. 75-6. He . . . lives. / Away!] Hazlitt; He . . . away. 

56. stand good lord] act the part of good lord, or patron; a stock phrase 
(O.E.D., s.v. stand, v., I5c). 

62. closely] secretly. 

64. secret] The scansion here, and at in. x. 10, suggests that the word is 

69. turned off] hanged, 

73. and if] if. 


Page. I go my lord, I run. 

Lor. But sirrah, see that this be cleanly done. Exit Page. 

Now stands our fortune on a tickle point, 

And now or never ends Lorenzo's doubts. 

One only thing is unefiectcdjyek 80 

And that's to see the executioner. 

But to what end ? I list not trust the air 

With utterance of our pretence therein, 

For fear the privy whisp'ring of the wind 

Convey our words amongst unfriendly ears, 85 

That lie too open to advantages. 

E quel che voglio io, nessun lo sa y 

Intendo io : quel mi basterd. Exit. 

[III. V] 

Enter Boy with the box. % 

Page. My master hath forbidden me to look in this box, and 
by my troth 'tis likelyj if he had not warned me^ I should 
SQliaveh^d so much idle time : for we men's-kindjn our 
minority_are like women in their jmcertainty: that they 

^rejaos^fqrbidder^ they will soonest attempt f so I now. 5 
By my bare honesty, here's nothing but thebare empty 
box: were it not sin against secrecy, I would say it werea 

~piece of gentlemanlike knavery. I must go to Pedringano, 

81. see] 1592; fee conj. Edwards. 87-8. E quel . . . basterb.} Hawkins^ 
Schick; Et quel que voglio li nessun le sa, / Intendo io quel mi bassara. 

III. v. i. Page} not in 1592; Boy. 1615. 

78. tickle} delicately balanced, ticklish. 

79. ends} singular for plural in inversion; cf. in. i. 8. 

8 r. see} I have a strong suspicion that Tee' is a misprint for 'fee'; the 
remark would be more in character and more powerful. But one cannot 
tamper with a reading which makes good sense. 

82. list not} have no wish to. 

83. pretence} intention (O.E.D., 3). 

87-8 .] * An4 what I want, no-one knows ; I understand, and that's enough 
for me, ' 


and tell him his pardon is in this box, nay, Ijvould have 
sworn it, had I not seen the contrary. I cannot choose but 10 
smile to thSEfhow the villain wilTflout the gallows, scorn 
the audience, and descant on the hangman, and all pre- 
suming of his pardon from hence. Will 't not be an odd 
jest, for me to s^jind and grace every jest he makes, point- 
ing my finger atNfcis box, as who would say, 'Mock on, 15 
here's thy warrant.' Is't not a scurvy jest, that a man 
should jest himself to death ? Alas, poor Pedringano, I 
am in a sort sorry fbrthee, but if I should be hanged with 
thee, I cannot weep. Exit. 

[in. vi] 

Enter HIERONIMO and the Deputy. 

Hier. Thus must we toil in other men's extremes, 

That know not how to remedy our own, 

And do them justice, when unjustly we, 

For all our wrongs, can compass no redress. 

But shall I never live to see the day 5 

That I may come, byjusrice ofthejieavens, 

To know the cause that may my cares allay ? 

This toils my body, this consumeth age, 

That only I to all men just must be, 

And neither gods nor men be just to me. 10 

Dep. Worthy Hieronimo, your office asks 

A care to punish such as do transgress. 
Hier. /So is't my duty to regard his death 

Who, when he liv'd, deserv'd my dearest blood : 

But come, for that we came for, let's begin, 1 5 

For here lies that which bids me to be gone. 

in. vi. 15. But . . . begin,] 1602; But come, for that we came for lets begin, 
1592; But come, for that we came for: let's begin, 1615. 

in. vi. o. I . Deputy] the official title of the assistant to the Knight Marshal. 
13. regard] care for, show concern for. 

1 6. For here} i.e., in his heart or his head, which he touches. Boas suggests 
he refers to the bloody kercher. 


Enter Officers, Boy and PEDRINGANO, 
with a letter in his hand y bound. 

Dep. Bring forth the prisoner, for the court is set. 
Ped. Gramercy boy, but it was time to come, 

For I had written to my lord anew 

A nearer matter that concerneth him, 20 

For fear his lordship had forgotten me ; 

But sith he hath remember'd me so well 

Come, come, come on, when shall we to this gear ? 
Hier. Stand forth, thou monster, murderer of men, 

And here, for satisfaction of the world, 25 

Confess thy folly and repent thy fault, 

For there's thy place of execution. 
Ped. This is short work : well, to your marshalship 

First I confess, nor fear I death therefore, 

I am the man, 'twas I slew Serberine. * 30 

But sir, then you think this shall be the place 

Where we shall satisfy you for this gear ? 
Dep. Ay, Pedringano. 
Ped. Now I think not so. 

Hier. Peace impudent, for thou shalt find it so : 

For blood with blood shall, while I sit as judge, 35 

Be satisfied, and the law discharg'd; 

And thou^hmyself cjinnotreceive the like, 

Yet will I see that others have their right. 

Despatch! the fault's approved and confess'd, 

And by our law he is condemn' d to die. 40 

Hangman. Come on sir, are you ready ? 
Ped. To do what, my fine officious knave ? 
Hangm. To go to this gear. 

40.1. A ] 1592; Enter Hangman 1615. 

23. gear] affair, business; cf. following note. 

32. for this gear] for this behaviour, deed, or action. Cf. Nashe, ii, 181, 'He 
hamper him like a iade as he is for this geare.' 

39. approved] proved. 

40.] It is unnecessary to provide an entry for the Hangman here since he 
is one of the officers who enter at the start of the scene. 


Fed. O sir, you are too forward; thou wouldst fain furnish 
me with a halter, to disfurnish me of my habit, so I should 45 
go out of this gear, my raiment, into that gear, the rope; 
but hangman, now I spy your knavery, I'll not change 
without boot, that's flat. 

Hangm. Come sir. 

Fed. So then, I must up ? 50 

Hangm. No remedy. 

Fed. Yes, but there shall be for my coming down. 

Hangm. Indeed, here's a remedy for that. 

Fed. How? be turned off? 

Hangm. Ay truly; come, are you ready ? I pray sir, despatch: 55 
the day goes away. 

Fed. | What, do you hang by the hour ? If you do, I may chance 
to break your old custom. I 

Hangm. Faith, you have reason, for I am like to break your 

young neck. 60 

Fed. Dost thou mock me, hangman ? Pray God I be not pre- 
served to break your knave's pate for this ! 

Hangm. Alas sir, you are a foot too low to reach it, and I hope 
you will never grow so high while I am in the office. 

Fed. Sirrah, dost see yonder boy with the box in his hand ? 65 

Hangm. What, he that points to it with his finger ? 

Fed. Ay, that companion. 

Hangm. I know him not, but what of him? 

Fed. Dost thou think to live till his old doublet will make thee 
a new truss ? 70 

44-8. O sir ... that's flat.] Prose as Schick; O sir ... habit. / So I ... rope. / 
But Hangman . . . flat. 75.9^. 55-6. Ay truly . . . away.] Schick; I truely 
. . . ready. / 1 pray . . . away. 1592. 

44.] The compositor of 1592 has occasionally given Pedringano's and the 
Hangman's speeches the appearance of a kind of Whitmanesque verse by 
beginning a new sentence or main clause on a fresh line. But there is no 
doubt at all that they speak prose. Cf. note on 4th Addition, 1. 107. 

45. disfurmsh me of my habit] alluding to the custom which grants the 
hangman his victim's clothes. 

70. truss] close-fitting breeches or trousers ; in the succeeding speech the 
hangman puns on another meaning of the word to hang. 


Hangm. Ay, and many a fair year after, to truss up many an 

hones ter man than either thou or he. 
Fed. What hath he in his box, as thou think'st ? 
Hangm. Faith, I cannot tell, nor I care not greatly. Methinks 

you should rather hearken to your soul's health. 75 

Fed. Why, sirrah hangman ? I take iti that that is good for the 
J body is likewise good for the soul : and it may be, in that 

box is balm for both./ 
Hangm. Well,|thou art even the merriest piece of man's flesh 

that e'er groaned at my office door/ 80 

Pedals your roguery become an office, with a knave's name ? '^ 
Hangm. Ay, and that shall all they witness that see you seal it 

with a thief's name. 

Ped. I prithee request this good company to pray with me. 
Hangm. Ay marry sir, this is a good motion : my masters, you 85 

see here's a good fellow. 
Ped. Nay, nay, now I remember me, let them alone till some 

other time, for now I have no great need. 
Hier.\ I have not seen arwretch so impudent ! 

O monstrous times, where murder's set so light, 90 

And where the soul, that should be shrin'd in heaven, 

Solely delights in interdicted things, 

Still wand'ring in the thorny passages 

That intercepts itself of happiness./ 

Murdcr,O bloody monster God forbid 95 

ATfault so foul should scape unpunished. 

Despatch, and see this execution done : 

This makes me to remember thee, my son. Exit HIERONIMO. 
Ped. Nay, soft, no haste. 

Dep. Why, wherefore stay you? have you hope of life? 100 

Ped. Why, ay. 
Hangm. As how ? 

74-5. Faith . . . health.] Prose as Schick; Faith . . . greatly. / Me thinks . . . 
health. 1592. 84. pray with me] 1592; pray for me 1602. 

94.] presumably * which prevent it (the soul) from attaining happiness'. 
Since the construction is so clumsy it is impossible to know whether inter- 
cepts is a correct or incorrect singular, or a rare plural-form. Cf. in. xiv. 50. 


Fed. Why, rascal, by my pardon from the king. 
Hangm. Stand you on that ? then you shall off with this. 

9 wU-*f^-^ Jtr^^ -3> p He turns him off. 
Dep. So, executioner; convey him hence, ' 105 

But let his body be unburied. 

Let not the earth be choked or infect 

With that which heaven contemns and men neglect. Exeunt. 

[in. vii] 


Hier. Where shall I run to breathe abroad my woes, 
Myjwoes, whose weight hath wearied the earth ? 
Or mine exclaims, tHat have surcfiarg'd tfie air 
With ceaseless plaints for my deceased son ? 
The blust'ring winds, conspiring with my words, 5 

At my lament have mov'd the leaveless trees, 
Disrob'd the meadows of their flower'd green, 
Made mountains marsh with spring-tides of my tears, 
And broken through the brazen gates of hell. 

LYet still tormented is my tortur'd soul 10 

j -* . 

With broken sighs and restless passions, 
That winged mount, and, hovering in the air, 
Beat _at_ the : windows ^of the brightestjieayens, / 
, Soliciting for justice and revenge :\\ i-y^^T 1 ^ (A> ' W > 
But they are plac'd in those empyreal heights 1 5 

Where, countermur'd with walls of diamond, 

108. heaven] 1534; heauens 1592. 

ill. vii. i . Hier.} 1 603; not in 1592. 15. empyreal] Schick 1 ; imperiall 1592. 

III. vii. 8.] a violent image, but Kyd liked the latter part well enough to 
re-use it in Cornelia, v. 420, 'And dewe your selues with springtides of your 
teares*. The first part is transmuted in the same translation (i. 40) and 
again there is no parallel in Gamier: 'with their blood made marsh the 
parched plaines'. 

15. empyreal] 1592'$ imperiall is only a spelling variant. 

1 6. countermur'd] doubly- walled. Cf. Studley's translation of Seneca's 
Phaedra (Hippolytus), Act II : 'countermured castle strong'. 


I find the place impregnable, and they 
Resist my woes, and give my words no way. 

Enter Hangman with a letter. 

Hangm. O lord sir, God bless you sir, the man sir, Petergade 

sir, he that was so full of merry conceits 20 

Hier. Well, what of him ? 
Hangm. O lord sir, he went the wrong way, the fellow had a 

fair commission to the contrary. Sir, here is his passport; 

I pray you sir, we have done him wrong. 

Hier. I warrant thee, give it me. 25 

Hangm. You will stand between the gallows and me ? 
Hier. Ay, ay. 

Hangm. I thank your lord-worship. Exit Hangman. 

Hiey And yet, though somewhat nearer me concerns, 

I will, to ease the grief that I sustain, ^ 30 

Take truce with sorrow while I read on this. 

'My lord, I writ as mine extremes requir'd, 

That you would labour my delivery : 

If you neglect, my life is desperate, 

And in my death I shall reveal the troth. 35 

fYou know, my lord, I slew him for your sake, 

And as confederate with the prince and you, 

Won by rewards and hopeful promises, 

I holp to murder Don Horatio, too. 5 

Holp he to murder mine Horatio ? 40 

IAnd actors in th ? accurscdjragedy 
Wast thou, Lorenzo, Balthazar and thou, > 
> - " "" * . i , __, g? 


28. lord- worship] L. worship 1592. 32. writ] Manly; write 1592. 
requir'd] 1592; require 1623. 37. as] This ed,; was 1592. 

32. writ} Manly's simple emendation, though it has not been popular, 
must be correct. 

37. as confederate} To read as instead of was relieves us of having to 
choose between intolerable syntax and a sheer mis-statement. It is clear, 
from what we know and from what Hieronimo immediately says, that the 
last three lines of the letter go together; Pedringano was not a confederate 
of the prince in the murder of Serberine. But the last three lines cannot be 
read together as they stand in 75,92. 


Of whom my son, my son, deserv'd so well ? 
What have I heard, what have mine eyes beheld ? 

sacred heavens, may it come to pass 45 
That such a monstrous and detested deed, 

So closely smother'd, and so long conceal'd, 
Shall thus by this be venged or reveal'd ? 
Now see I what I durst not then suspect, 

1 That Bel-imperia's letter was not feign'd, 50 
Nor feigned she, though falsely they have wrong'd 

Both her, myself, Horatio and themselves. 
Now may I make compare, 'twixt hers and this, 
Of every accident; I ne'er could find / 
Till now, and now I feelingly perceive, 55 

They did what heaven unpunished would not leave. 
O false Lorenzo, are these thy flattering looks ? 
Is this the honour that thou didst my son ? 
And Balthazar, bane to thy soul and me. 
Was this the ransom he reserved theejpr ? 60 

Woe to the cause of these constrained wars, 
Woe to thy baseness and captivity, 
Woe to thy birth, thy body and thy soul, 
Thy cursed father, and thy conquer'd self! 
And bann'd with bitter execrations be 65 

The day and place where he did pity thee ! 
/But wherefore waste I mine unfruitful words, 
* When naught but blood will satisfy my woes ? / 

54. accident; I] accident, I 1592; accident. I Manly; accident I Dods- 

50-1. was not feign'd, Nor feigned she] 'He is relieved of two doubts, 
whether or not Bel-imperia really wrote the letter, and if so whether or not 
she was telling the truth' (Mcllwraith). 

53-6.] 'Now, from the two letters, I can piece together the whole occur- 
rence. I could never satisfy myself before, though now it is brought right 
home to me, that these men committed the murder which heaven was 
bound to bring to light and punish.' Edd. have made nonsense of an admit- 
tedly difficult passage by ignoring /jps's stop after accident', Manly 
preserves it. 

65. bann'd] cursed. 


I will go plain me to my lord the king, 
And cry aloud for justice through the court, 70 

Wearing the flints with these my wither'd feet, 
/And either purchase justice by entreats 
Or tire them all with my revenging threats./ Exit. 

[ill. viii] 

Enter ISABELLA and her Maid. 

Isab. So that you say this herb will purge the eye, 

And this the head ? 

Ah, burnone of them will purge the heart : 

No, there's no medicine left for my disease, 

Nor any physic to recure the dead. She runs lunatic. 5 

Horatio ! O where's Horatio ? 
Maid. Good madam, affright not thus yourself 

With outrage for your son Horatio : 

He sleeps in quiet in the Elysian fields. 
Isab. Why, did I not give you gowns and goodly things, 10 

Bought you a whistle and a whipstalk too, 

To be revenged on their villainies ? 
Maid. Madam, these humours do torment my soul. 
Isab. My soul ? poor soul, thou talks of things 

[in. viii]] Act iv Hawkins. 2-3. And . . . head ? / Ah, . . . heart :] Manly; 
And . . . hart: 1592. 14. talks] 1592; talk'st 1623. 

69. plain me} complain (O.E.D., v., 43). 

in. viii.] Hawkins and others begin here a new Act. Although Biesterfeldt 
(p. 85) has argued that there is a break in the action at this point, we have no 
authority for making the change, or for postulating the loss of one of the 
scenes between Andrea and Revenge which conclude the Acts, as M SR 
(1602), p. xxii, and Oliphant suggest (Shakespeare and his Fellow-Drama- 
tists, 1929). Act III is extremely long, but S chick noted that the 'Senecan' 
Thebais and Octavia had been divided into four acts, and there is some in- 
formation about four-act Latin Renaissance plays in L. Bradner, Studies in 
the Renaissance, IV (1957), 35ff. 

5. recure} restore to health. 

8. outrage} Cf. II. v. 45. 

ii. whipstalk} whipstock (dialectal form). 

13. humours} extravagant emotions. 


Thou know'st not whatmy soul hath silver wings, 15 

That mounts me up unto the highest heavens, 

To heaven, ay, there sits my Horatio, 

Back'd with a troop of fiery cherubins, 

Dancing about his newly-healed wounds, 

Singing sweet hymns and chanting heavenly notes, 20 

Rare harmony to greet his innocence,| " 

That died, ay, died, a mirror in our days! 

But say, where shall I find the men, the murderers, 

That slew Horatio ? Whither shall I run 

To find them out that murdered my son ? Exeunt. 25 

[in. ix] 

BEL-IMPERIA at a window. 

Bel. What means this outrage that is offer'd me ? 
Why am I thus sequester'd from the court ? 
No notice ? Shall I not know the cause 
Of this my secret and suspicious ills ? 

Accursed brother, unkind murderer, (^^ *- M **** ) 5 

Whybends thou thus thy mind to'martyr me ? 
Hieronimo, why writ I of thy wrongs, 
Or why art thou so slack in thy revenge ? 
Andrea, O Andrea, that thou sawest 

16. mounts] 1592; mount Dodsley. 

in. ix. 4. this] 1592; these 1633. 6. bends] 1592; bcnd'st 1623. 

15-22.] There seems to be a connexion between these lines and T. Wat- 
son's elegy on Walsingham, Melibceus (1590), written in Latin with an 
English translation. See Appendix D. 

1 6. mounts] either a plural in -s, or a confusion, as to the subject, between 
soul and wings. Cf. intercepts at ill. vi. 94. 

21. greet} acclaim, honour, salute (not welcome). An unusual usage. 
O.E.D.y v. 1 , 3d, 'to honour with a gift', has no example after 1362, but cf. 
O.E.D., 36, the Spenserian 'to offer congratulations'. 

22. mirror] paragon, model of excellence (O.E.D., sb. 3 5b). 

in. ix. 2. sequestered] kept apart in seclusion. 
3. notice] information. 
6. bends] applies, directs. 


Me for thy friend Horatio handled thus, 10 

And him for me thus causeless murdered. 

Well, force perforce, I must constrain myself 

To patiencejjm^applyjp^tg the time, 

Till heaven, as I have hop'd, shall set me free. 


Chris. Come, Madam Bel-imperia, this may not be. Exeunt. 15 

[in. x] 

Enter LORENZO, BALTHAZAR, and the Page. 

Lor. Boy, talk no further, thus far things go well. 

Thou art assur'd that thou sawest him dead ? 
Page. Or else, my lord, I live not. 
Lor. That's enough. 

As for his resolution in his end, 

Leave that to him with whom he sojourns now. 5 

Here, take my ring, and give it Christophil, 

And bid him let my sister be enlarg'd, 

And bring her hither straight. Exit Page. 

This that I did was for a policy 

To smooth and keep the murder secret, 10 

Which as a nine-days' wonder being o'er-blown, 

My gentle sister will I now enlarge. 
Bal. And time, Lorenzo, for my lord the duke, 

You heard, enquired for her yester-night. 
Lor. Why, and, my lord, I hope you heard me say 1 5 

Sufficient reason why she kept away : 

m. x. 2. assur'd] 1592; assured Schick 1 . sawest] 1592; saw'st Schick 1 . 

13. apply me to the time] conform to the times, submit to things as they 
are. The phrase 'obey the time', with the same sense, is frequently found. 

14.1. Enter CHRISTOPHIL] presumably 'above', appearing at Bel- 
imperia's side. It is unusual to have action on the 'upper-stage' alone, but it 
would be rather absurd for Christophil to enter below and retire after saying 
his one line; the line is clearly to accompany a leading-off, 

m. x. 10. secret] Cf. ill. iv. 64. 


But that's all one. My lord, you love her ? 
Bal. Ay. 

Lor. Then in your love beware., deal cunningly, 

Salve all suspicions, only soothe me up ; 

And if she hap to stand on terms with us, 20 

As for her sweetheart, and concealment so, 

Jest with her gently : under feigned jest 

Are things conceaTd that else would breed unrest. 

But here she conies. 

Now, sister 
Bel. Sister? No, 

Thou art no brother, but an enemy ; 25 

Else wouldst thou not have us'd thy sister so : 

First, to affright me with thy weapons drawn, 

And with extremes abuse my company: 

And thento hurry me, like whirlwind's rage, 

Amidst a crew of thy confederates^ 30 

And clap me up where none might come at me, 

Nor I at any to reveal my wrongs. 

What madding fury did possess thy wits ? 

Or whgrcjnjs^t that I_offcndedjhg-? 
Lor. Advise you better, Bel-imperia, 35 

For I have done you no disparagement, 

Unless, by more discretion than deserv'd, 
\ I sought to save your honour and mine own. I 

24-5. But . . . No, / Thou . . . enemy;] Manly; But . . . comes. / Now Sister. / 
Sister . . . enemy. 1592. 24. Now] Lor. Now 1592. 

19.] 'Smooth over all suspicions and above all back me up in what I say*. 
salve suggests a healing ointment, soothe, see Q.E.D., 3. 

20. stand on terms] insist on conditions, make difficulties. 

21.] 'Lorenzo's jaunty and laconic allusion to Horatio's murder and Bel- 
imperia 's secret detention is highly characteristic* (Boas). 

36-8.] 'If I have humiliated you, it was only in the course of my attempt 
(which showed more consideration than you deserved) to save your honour 
and my own.' For unless = unless it were that, cf. i. iv. 176. 

disparagement] a lowering of dignity, humiliation (O.E.D., disparage) 2). 


Bel. Mine honour ! why Lorenzo, wherein is't 

That I neglect my reputation so, 40 

As you, or any, need to rescue it ? 
Lor \ His highness and my father were resolv'd / 

To come confer with old Hieronimo, 

Concerning certain matters of estate 

That by the viceroy was determined. 45 

Bel. And wherein was mine honour touch'd in that ? 
BaL Have patience, Bel-imperia; hear the rest. 
Lor. Me next in sight as messenger they sent, 

To give him notice that they were so nigh : 

Now when I came, consorted with the prince, 50 

And unexpected in an arbour there 

Found Bel-imperia with Horatio 
Bel. How then? 
Lor. Why then| remembering that old disgrace / 

Which you for Don Andrea had endur'd,f 55 

And now were likely longer to sustain, 

By being found so meanly accompanied, 

Thought rather, for I knew no readier mean, 

To thrust Horatio forth my father's way. 
Bal. And carry you obscurely somewhere else, 60 

Lest that his highness should have found you there. 
Bel. Even so, my lord ? And you are witness 

That this is true which he entreateth of? 

You, gentle brother, forged this for my sake, 

And you, my lord, were made his instrument : 65 

44-5.] 'Concerning certain matters about possessions which the viceroy 
had given up*. Lorenzo would make the King come to discuss law with 
Hieronimo; estate may therefore be taken as the antecedent of that, explain- 
ing the singular was. For determine) see O.E.D., I, 'to conclude, terminate', 
and determination, ib, 'the cessation of an estate or interest of any kind', 
quoting an act of Henry VII, 'After the dettermynacions of the states ... by 
deth ... or any other wise'. 

57. meanly accompanied] Horatio's social inferiority again. 

59. forth] out of. 

64.] The uncontracted forged is kept, although the line is thus given a 
hypermetrical syllable, because Bel-imperia 's sardonic tone demands that 
the final stress fall on my, not sake. 


A work of worth, worthy the noting too ! 

But what's the cause that you conceal'd me since ? 
Lor. Your melancholy, sister^since the news 

Of your first favourite Don Andrea's death, 

My father's old wrath hath exasperate. I 70 

Bal. And better was't for you, being in disgrace, 
j To absent yourself and give his fury place. \ 
Bel. But why had I no notice of his ire ? 
Lor. That were to add more fuel to your fire, 

Who burnt like Aetna for Andrea's loss. 75 

Bel. Hath not my father then enquir'd for me ? 
Lor^Sister, he hath, and thus excus'd I thee. 

He whispereth in her ear. 

But Bel-imperia, see the gentle prince, 

Look on thy love, behold young Balthazar, / 

Whose passions by thy presence are increas'd, 80 

>And in whose melancholy thou mayst see 

Thy hate, his love; thy flight, his following thee. 
Bel. Brother^ xou^rejbecpme an orator,^ 

jycnownot, I, by what experience, 

Too politic for me, past all compare, 85 

Since last I saw you; but content yourself, 

The prince is meditating higher things . 
Bal. 'Tis of thy beauty then, that conquers kings : 

Of those thy tresses, Ariadne's twines, 

75. for] 1592; and MSR (/5P*). 

70.] See in. iv. 31 ; cf. Cornelia, ill. in. 128 : 'His wrath against you 'twill 
exasperate/ and Edward //, 1. 478, 'But that will more exasperate his 
wrath.' The phrase is also found in the old King Leir. 

72. give his fury place] Though the meaning is not obscure, this is an 
unusual figurative use of give place, and there is no parallel in O.E.D. (cf. 
place, sb. y 23). 

75 -f r ] M.S.R.'s and appears to be an error. 

89-90.] He means that her hairs are the bonds which have made him a 
prisoner (twines cords or threads, surprised captured). The source of 
the couplet is Sonnet X of Du Bellay's L* Olive: 'Ces cheveux d'or sont les 
liens, Madame, / Dont fut premier ma liberte* surprise.' Daniel, in trans- 
lating the same sonnet (Delia, xiv), uses almost the same words as Kyd in 
the second line : * Those amber locks, are those same nets my deere, / Where- 



Wherewith my liberty thou hast surpris'd : 90 

Of that thine ivory front, my sorrow's map, 

Wherein I see no haven to rest my hope. 
Bel. To love, and fear, and both at once, my lord, 

In my conceit, arc things of more import 

Than women's wits are to be busied with. 95 

Bal. Tis I that love. 
Bel. Whom ? 

Bal. Bel-imperia. 

Bel. But I that fear. 
Bal. Whom? 

Bel. Bel-imperia. 

Lor. Fear yourself ? 
Bel. Ay, brother. 

Lor. How ? 

Bel. As those 

That what they love arcjpath and fear to^lqse^ 
Bal. Then, fair, let Balthazar your keeper be. 100 

Bel. No, Balthazar doth fear as well as we : 

Et tremulo metui pavidum junxere timorem, 

Et vanum stolidae proditionis opus. Exit. 

Lor. Nay, and you argue things so cunningly, 

We'll go continue this discourse at court. 105 

Bal. Led by the loadstar of herjieaycnly looks, 

98-9. ... As those / That . . . lose.] Manly; As those, . . . loose. 

101. doth fear] dothfeare 1592. 102. Et] Hawkins; Est 1592. 103. Et] 

1592; Est Manly > S chick. 

with my libertie thou didst surprize.' This was published in 1591, but it is 
unlikely that Kyd borrowed from Daniel, since his twines is much nearer to 
liens than Daniel's nets. Why Kyd inserted Ariadne is a puzzle, Ariadne 
used a thread to guide Theseus through the Labyrinth, but she did not tie 
him up with it. Possibly Kyd confused Ariadne with Arachne the weaver 
who turned into a spider, and who therefore has more to do with enmeshing 
people; compare Shakespeare's uncertainty over 'Ariachne' in Troilus and 
Cressida,v.ii. 152. 

9 1 . front] forehead. 

102-3.] 'Another piece of classical patchwork, of which the meaning is 
obscure' (Boas). 'They joined dismayed dread to quaking fear, a futile deed 
of sottish betrayal.' 


Wends poor oppressed Balthazar, 

As o'er the mountains walks thejwanderer^ 

Incertain to effect his pilgrimage. Exeunt. 

[in. xi] 

Enter two Portingales, and HIERONIMO meets them. 

1. By your leave, sir. 

Hier. Good leave have you, nay, I pray you go, [Third Addition; 
For I'll leave you, if you can leave me, so. 

2. Pray you, which is the next way to my lord the duke's ? 
Hier. The next way from me. 

/. To his house, we mean. 5 

Hier. Oh, hard by, 'tis yon house that you see. 

2. You could not tell us if his son were there ? 

Hier. Who, my lord Lorenzo ? 

/. Ay, sir. 

He goeth in at one door and comes out at another. 
Hier. Oh, forbear, 

For other talk for us far fitter were. 

But if you be importunate to know 10 

The way to him, and where to find him out, 

Then list to me, and I'll resolve your doubt. 

There is a path upon your jgft-hand side, 

That Icadeth from a guiltj^conscience 

Untoa forest pfdistrust and fear, 1 5 

A^darkspme^placejnd dangerous to pass : 

There shall you meet with melancholy thoughts, 

in. xi. 3. me, so] Schick 2 ; me so 1592. 8-9. . . . Oh, forbear, / For . . . 
were.] Hazlitt; Oh forbeare . . . were. 1592. 

109. Incertain to effect] doubtful that he will achieve. 

III. xi. 4. next] nearest. 

13.] Cf. i. i. 63 : the left-hand path led to the deepest hell. The resem- 
blance noted by Sarrazin between the passage which follows and Spenser's 
Cave of Despair (F.Q. y i, ix, 33 and 34) is, as Boas says, probably only 


Whose baleful humours if you but uphold, 

It will conduct you to despair and death : 

Whose rocky cliffs when you have once beheld, 20 

Within a hugy dale of lasting night, 

That, kindled with the world's iniquities, 

Doth cast up filthy and detested fumes 

Not far from thence, where murderers have built 

A habitation for their cursed souls, 25 

There, in a brazen cauldron fix'd by Jove 

In his fell wrath upon a sulphur flame, 

Yourselves shaUfindLorcnzo batlungjnjji 

In boiling IcacTand blood of innocents . 

Hier. Ha, ha, ha! 30 

Why, ha, ha, ha ! Farewell, good, ha, ha, ha ! Exit. 

2. I Doubtless this man is passing lunatic, 
^ I Or imperfection of his age doth make him dote. 

Come, let's away to seek my lord the duke. [Exeunt.] 

[in. xii] 

Enter HIERONIMO with a poniard in one hand, and 
a rope in the other. 

Hier. Now sir, perhaps I come and see the king, 

1 8. uphold] 1592; behold 1618. 22. kindled] 1594; kind'ed [broken 1 ?] 
*59 2 * 30-1. Hier. . . . good, ha, ha, ha!] Boas; one line 1592. 34. 
[Exeunt.]] 1602; not in 1592. 

18. uphold] sustain, continue in. This sense (O.E.D., 2) is more likely 
than anything connected with O.E.D., 3c, to nourish. 
2 1. hugy] huge. 

III. xii. o. i.] Cf. Looking Glass for London and England) 'Enter the Usurer, 
with a halter in one hand, a dagger in the other.* Boas remarks, 'Hieronimo 
appears with the stock "properties" of a would-be suicide', and compares 
Spenser, F.Q., I, ix, 29 and Skelton's Magnyfycence, 11. 23i2ff. 

poniard] dagger. 

1-5.] Hieronimo has acuteness enough to expect obstacles, though he 
does not seem to confine the enmity to Lorenzo and Balthazar. 

1-24.] Hieronimo's speech begins in quatrains and continues in a loose 
rhyme-scheme to the end. 


The king sees me, and fain would hear my suit : 

Why, is not this a strange and seld-seen thing. 

That standers-by with toys should strike me mute ? 

Go to, I see their shifts, and say no more. 5 

Hieronimo, 'tis time for thee to trudge : 

Down by the dale that flows with purple gore, 

Standeth a fiery tower: there sits a judge 

Upon a seat of steel and molten brass, 

And 'twixt his teeth he holds a firebrand, 10 

That leads unto the lake where hell doth stand. 

Away, Hieronimo, to him be gone : 

Hell do thee justicefor Horatio's death. 

Turn down this path, thou shalt be with him straight, 

Or this, and then thou need'st not take thy breath : 1 5 

This way, or that way ? Soft and fair, not so : 

For if I hang or kill myself, let's know 

Who will revenge Horatio's murder then ? 

No, no ! fie, no ! pardon me, I'll none of that : 

He flings away the dagger and halter. 

This way I'll take, and this way comes the king, 20 

He takes them up again. 
And here I'll have a fling at him, that's flat : 
And, Balthazar, I'll be with thee to bring, 
And thee, Lorenzo ! Here's the king, nay, stay, 

3. seld] seldom. 

4. toys] The word usually denotes the frivolous and petty; here, perhaps, 
vain triflings, nonsense, or possibly idle minds. 

6. trudge] make off, get moving (O.E.D., v. 1 , ic); cf. Comedy of Errors, 
m. ii. 158 :' 'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack and be gone.' That the word 
does not imply slowness is seen from Alphonsus of Aragon, Act II, 'I saw 
you trudging in such posting haste.' 

14-15. this path ... Or this] Hieronimo brandishes the poniard and then 
the rope; the same indecision is in Skelton's Magnyfycence (see note to o. i) ; 
Massinger echoes this passage in Believe as You List, 11. 1959-64. 

17-18.] the same ideas as in the Latin dirge, n. v. 78-80 (Schick). 

22. /'// be with thee to bring] a common enough phrase, capable of various 
meanings, some bawdy. Here, 'I'll get the upper hand of you' or 'I'll be 
even with you* or any phrase which will convey forcible retaliation and con- 
quest. Schmidt (s.v. bring} has a useful note; see also Deighton's note to 
Troilus and Cressida, I. ii. 304 (Arden ed.) for parallels. 


And here, ay here, there goes the hare away. 


King. Now show, Ambassador, what our viceroy saith : 25 

Hath he receiv'd the articles we sent ? 
Hier. Justice, O justice to Hieronimo ! 
Lor. Back ! sccst thou not the kmg^is busy ? 
Hier. Oh, is he so? 

King* Whojshe that interrupts^r^bujiness ? 30 

Hier. Not I. Hieronimo, beware : go by, go by. 
Amb. Renowned king, he hath receiv'd and read 

Thy kingly proffers, and thy promis'd league, 

And, as a man extremely overjoy'd 

To hear his son so princely entertain'd, 3 5 

Whose death he had so solemnly bewaiTd, 

This, for thy further satisfaction 
/ And kingly love, he kindly lets thee know : 

First, for the marriage of his princely son 

With Bel-imperia, thy beloved niece, 40 

Thg^news are more delightful to his soul, 

Than myrrh orjncense to th^offended heavens y 

In person therefore will he come himself, 

To see the marriage rites solemnized, 

And, in the presence of the court of Spain, 45 

To knit ajure,incxplicable band 

Of kingly lovc^and everlasting league, 

Betwixt the crowns of Spain and Portingale. 

46. inexplicable] 1594; inexecrable 1592; inextricable Hawkins. 

24. there goes the hare away] Tilley Hi 57. A saying with several uses, often 
(as here) with reference to losing something one has tried to achieve or hold. 
Not, I think, as Boas: 'Here the matter ends' or as Schick: 'There is the 
game I want to hunt.' Hieronimo is afraid of losing the King. 

31. go by, go by] literally, go aside; 'be careful, don't run your head into 
trouble.' 'Go by, Jeronimo' became a stock Elizabethan phrase. See Boas' 
note for references to this passage in Shakespeare, Dekker, Middleton, 
Fletcher, etc. 

46. inexplicable] that cannot be untied, indissoluble. See Textual Intro- 
duction, pp. xli-xlii, for the textual problems involved in this reading. 


There will he give his crown to Balthazar, 

And make a queen of Bel-imperia. 50 

King. Brother, how like you this our viceroy's love ? 
Cast. No doubt, my lord, it is an argument 

Of honourable care to keep his friend, 

And wondrous zeal to Balthazar his son: 

Nor am I least indebted to his grace, 55 

That bends his liking to my daughter thus. 
Amb. Now last, dread lord, here hath his highness sent 

(Although he send not that his son return) 

His ransom due to Don Horatio. 

Hier. Horatio ? who calls Horatio ? 60 

King. And well remember'd, thank his majesty. 

Here, see it given to Horatio. 
Hier. Justice, O justice, justice, gentle king! 
King. Who is that ? Hieronimo ? 
Hier. Justice, O justice ! O my son, my son, 65 

My son, whom naught can ransom or redeem ! 
Lor. Hieronimo, you are not well-gdvis'd. 
Hier. Away Lorenzo, hinder me no more, 

For thou hast made me bankrupt of my bliss. 

Give me my son TYou shall not ransom him. 70 

Away! I'll rip the bowels of the earth, 

He diggeth with his dagger. 

And ferry over to th'Elysian plains, 

And bring my son to show his deadly wounds. 

Stand from about me ! 

I'll make a pickaxe of my poniard, 75 

And here surrender up my marshalship : 

74-5. Stand . . . me! /I'll ... poniard,] S chick; Stand . . . poniard, 1592. 

61-2.] The King's ignorance is extraordinary. See Introduction, p. Iviii. 

71.] Boas compares Jew of Malta ( ?I59O), 1. 147, 'Ripping the bowels of 
the earth for them [precious stones]'. The parallel is striking but I do not 
think the evidence suggests that Marlowe 'probably imitated Kyd'. Mar- 
lowe's sequence of ideas is more poetically appropriate and suggests that he 
was the originator of the phrase. But since it could be argued that the 
crudity in Kyd is appropriate to Hieronimo, the question of precedence 
must remain open. 


For I'll go marshal up the fiends in hell, 
To be avenged on you all for this. 

What means this outrage ? 

' Willnonc ^of^ourestrain his fury ? 80 

Hier. Nay, soft and fair : you shall not need to strive, 

Needs must he go that the devils drive. Exit. 

King. What accident hath happ'd Hieronimo ? 

I have not seen him to demean him so^ 

Lor., My gracious lord, he is with extreme pride, 85 

j Conceiv'd of young Horatio his son, 

And covetous of having to himself 
] The ransom of the youngprince Balthazar, 
I Distract, and in a manncrlunatic. 

King. Believe me, nephew, we are sorry fort : 90 

^This is the love that^fathers bear theirsons : v 
,^But gentle brother, go give to him this goltf , 
^^Phe prince's ransom : let him have his due, 
For what he hath Horatio shall not want : 
Haply HicronJTOLhath need thereof. 95 

Lor. But if he be thus helplessly distract, 
'Tis requisite his office be resign'd, 
And given to one of more discretion. 
King. We shall increase his melancholy so. 

'Tis best that we see further in it first : 100 

Till when, ourself will not exempt the place. 

79-80. What . . . outrage ? / Will . . . fury ?] Hawkins; What . . . fury ? 1592. 
82. Needs] 1592; For needs Schick. the] 1592; all the Hazlitt. 101. 
not exempt] This ed.; exempt 1592; execute conj. Collier; hold exempt 
Hazlitt; exempt him Boas. 

79. outrage] extravagant outburst. 
82.] Tilley 0278. 

83. happ'd Hieronimo] happened to Hieronimo. See O.E.D., hap y v. 1 , ib 
for this use of indirect object. 

84. demean him] conduct himself, behave. 

ioi.] It is very hard to make any sense out of 1592 ('ourself will exempt 
the place'), and the line is a syllable short. In trying to produce the correct 
reformation, we must be led by the sense of the passage, which is that the 
King is anxious not to make a change in the Marshalship until he has made 
further enquiries, for fear of upsetting Hieronimo. hold exempt (keep 


And brother, now bring in the ambassador, 

That he may be a witness of the match 

'Twixt Balthazar and Bel-imperia, 

And that we may prefix a certain time, 105 

Wherein the marriage shall be solemniz'd, 

That we may have thy lord the viceroy here. 
Amb. Therein your highness highly shall content 

His majesty, that longs to hear from hence. 
King. On then, and hear you, lord ambassador. Exeunt. 1 10 

[Fourth Addition; see p. 127] 

[ill. xiii] 

Enter HIERONIMO with a book in his hand. 

Hier. Vindicta mihi ! 

iAy, heaven will be reveng'd of every ill, 
Nor will they suffer murder unrepaid : 
Then stay, Hieronimo, attend their will, 
For mortal men may not appoint their time. 5 

Per scelus semper tutum est sceleribus iter. 

m. xiii. I. Hier.} not in 1592. 

vacant) and exempt him (excuse him) are therefore dubious alternatives, 
apart from the strain on the word exempt, because they imply some kind of 
suspension of the Knight Marshal. Collier's execute is an inspired emenda- 
tion, and gives some justification to the emphatic ourself, but it still implies 
suspension, and it is scarcely credible that the King would so demean him- 
self. In suggesting that a not has fallen out before exempt, we are still left 
with an intransigent exempt. O.E.D., 3 gives 'to debar, exclude from the 
enjoyment or participation in something' ; an elliptical construction must 
be supposed here, 'I will not debar him from the position*. 

in. xiii. i. Vindicta mihi!] The book in Hieronimo's hand is obviously a 
Seneca, from the excerpts read later in the speech, but Boas is surely wrong 
in suggesting that here Hieronimo is reading from Octavia, Et hoc sat est ? 
. . . haec vindicta debetur mihi ? ('And is this enough ? ... Is this the ven- 
geance due to me ?'). This sense would be fitting for Hieronimo's mood at 
this point, but the succeeding words make it obvious that Schick and 
Bowers are right (cf. M.L.N., liii (1938), 590) in saying that Hieronimo 
quotes first the biblical 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.' 

6.] Cf. Seneca, Agamemnon, 1. 115 : per scelera semper sceleribus tutum est 
iter ('The safe way for crime is always through crime'). 


Strike, and strike home, where wrong is offer'd thee, 

For evils unto ills conductors be, 

And death's the worst of resolution : 

For he that thinks with patience to contend 10 

To quiet life, his life shall easily end. 

Fata si miser 'osjuvant, habes salutem; 

Fata si vitam negant, habes sepnlchrum. 

If destiny thy miseries do ease, 

Then hast thou health, and happy shalt thou be : 15 

If destiny deny thee life, Hieronimo, 

Yet shalt thou be assured of a tomb : 

If neither, yet let this thy comfort be, 

Heaven covercth him that hath no burial. 

And to conclude, I will revenge his death ! 20 

But how ? not as the vulgar wits of men, 

With open, but inevitable ills, 

As by a secret, yet a certain mean, 

Which under kindship will be cloaked best. 

Wise men will take their opportunity, 25 

Closely and safely fitting things to time : 

But in extremes advantage hath no time, 

And therefore all times fit not for revenge. 

Thus therefore will I rest me in unrest, 

Dissembling quiet in uhquietness, 30 

12-13.] From Seneca's Troades, 11. 510-12; Hieronimo interprets in the 
succeeding lines. 

19.] 'This is Lucan's Caelo tegitur qui non habet urnam (Pharsalia, vii, 

22.] 'The sense is not satisfactory. We should expect a contrast between 
the open and therefore by no means "inevitable ills" employed by vulgar 
wits, and the secret yet certain method which Hieronimo contemplates* 
(Boas). Would it strain the construction too much to take inevitable as in 
fact a contrast to open ? Cf. Bowers, pp. 78-9, for a discussion of the passage. 

23. mean] measure, course of action. 

24. kindship] kindness. 

27-8.] Hieronimo appears to argue that it is only in desperate situations 
(extremes) that one does not wait for a favourable opportunity (advantage) ', 
revenge is a serious and deliberate retaliation and can only be exacted at the 
right moment. 


Not seeming that I know their villainies, 

That my simplicity may make them think 

That ignorantly I will let all slip : 

For ignorance, I wot, and well they know, 

Remedium malorum iners est. 35 

Nor aught avails it me to menace them, 

Who, as a wintry storm upon a plain, 

Will bear me down with their nobility. 

No, no, Hieronimo, thou must enjoin 

Thine eyes to observation, and thy tongue 40 

To milder speeches than thy spirit affords, 

Thy heart to patience, and thy hands to rest, 

Thy cap to courtesy, and thy knee to bow, 

Till to revenge thou know, when, where, and how. 

A noise within. 
How now, what noise ? what coil is that you keep ? 45 

Enter a Servant. 

Ser. Here are a sort of poor petitioners, 

That are importunate, and it shall please you sir, 
That you should plead their cases to the king. 

Hier. That I should plead their several actions ? 

Why, let them enter, and let me see them. 50 

Enter three Citizens and an Old Man. 

/. So I tell you this, for learning and for law, 

There's not any advocate in Spain 

That can prevail, or will take half the pain 

That he will, in pursuit of equity. 

Hier. Come near, you men that thus importune me. 55 

OW must I bear a face of gravity, 

44.1. A noise within] 1602; follows I. 45 in 1592. 52. There's] Theres 
*59 2 > There is Hawkins. 

35.] 'Is an idle remedy for ills'; from Seneca, Oedipus, 1. 515: Iners 
malorum remedium ignorantia est (Sarrazin, Anglia y xiii, 127). 

45. what . . . keep] 'what is all this fuss about ?' 

46. sort] group, gathering. 


** u I FOETUS! us> 4 before niy marshalsfaip, | 

I Toplgad in caUS^ 38 rnrrpgidnr. 

Come on sirs, what's the matter ? 
2. Sir, an action. 

Hier. Of battery? 
/. Mine of debt. 

Hier. Give place. 60 

2. No sir, mine is an action of the case. 

3. Mine an ejectionefirmae by a lease. 
Hier. Content you sirs, are you determined 

That I should plead your several actions ? 
/. Ay sir, and here's my declaration. 65 

2. And here is my band. 

3. And here is my lease. 

They give him papers. 

Hier/"But wherefore stands yon silly man so nxute, 
'with mournful eyes and hands to heaven uprear'd ? 
Come hither father, let me know thy cause. 
Senex. O worthy sir, my cause but slightly known 70 

May move the hearts of warlike Myrmidons 
And melt the Corsic rocks with ruthful tears. 
Hier. Say father, tell me what's thy suit ? 

62. firmae] Fleischer; firma 75.92. 66. here is my band] 1592; here's ~ 
Hazlitt. 66. 1. papers.] ^5p^ypaper: 1592 [broken s]. 

58. corregidor] properly, the chief magistrate of a Spanish town, but the 
title was used with some latitude by Elizabethan writers and here obviously 
means 'advocate*. Cf. Webster, Devil's Law Case, n. i. 13. 

61. action of the case] An action not within the limited jurisdiction of the 
Common Pleas needed a special writ to cover it. These special writs were 
known as 'actions of trespass on the case' or 'actions on the case*. See 
Shakespeare's England, 1, 390-1 , but the best account is in Jacob's Law Diet. 
Cf. Webster, Cure for a Cuckold, IV. i. 62-70. 

62. ejectione firmae] a writ to eject a tenant from his holding before the 
expiration of his lease; see Jacob's Law Diet. The phrase was common 
enough to be used figuratively and facetiously by Nashe (in, 156). 

66. band] bond. 

67. silly] poor, to be pitied. 

71.] Cf. Aeneid, n, 6-8 (W. P. Mustard). 

72. Corsic rocks] rocks of Corsica. Seneca's Corsici rupes; Octavia, 382 


Senex. No sir, could my woes 

Give way unto my most distressful words, 75 

Then should I not in paper, as you see, 

With ink bewray what blood began in me. 
Hier. What's here ? 'The humble supplication 

Of Don Bazulto for his murder'd son.' 
Senex. Ay sir. 
Hier. No sir, it was my murder'd son, 80 

O my son, my son, O my son Horatio ! 

But mine, or thine, Bazulto, be content. 

Here, take my handkcrchcr and wipe thine eyes, 

Whiles wretched I in thy nusTiapTmay see 

The lively portrait ot my dying sel " 85 

~~ ~ ~~~ ffiTSraweth out a bloody napkin. 

O no, not this : Horatio, this was thine, 

And when I dy'd it in thy dearest blood, 

This was a token 'twixt thy soul and me 

That of thy death revenged I should be. 

But here, take this, and this what, my purse ? 90 

Ay this and that, and all of them are thine, 

For all as one are our extremities. 
/ . O see the kindness of Hieronimo ! 
2. This gentleness shows him a gentleman. 
Hier. See, see, O see thy shame, Hieronimo, 95 

See here a joying father to his son ! 

Behold the sorrows and the sad laments 

That he delivereth for his son's decease ! 

Jf love'.q cflfcctigo strives in lesser things, 

If love enforce such moods in meaner wits, 100 

If love express such power in poor estates : 

Hieronimo, whenas a raging sea, 

80-1. . . . my murder'd son, / O my son . . . Horatio!] Manly; . . . my 
murdred sonne, oh my sonne. / My sonnc . . . Horatio. 1592. 90. what, 
my purse?] Dodsley; what my purse? 75.9.2; Senex. What, thy purse? 
Hazlitt. 102. whenas] conj. Boas; when as 1592; as when conj. Kittredge. 

102-7.] A very clumsy passage, however reformed; Hawkins* reading 
(o'erturneth) gives the best sense, whenas when. I suppose we are to 


Toss'd with the wind and tide, o'erturneth then 
The upper billows, course of waves to keep, 
Whjlstjesserwaters labour in thejdeep : v 105 

Then jham'st thoujiotJHLieronimo^to neglect I , 
Thg.gwgfi? J!gYg n 8 c of thy Horatio ? ' ^ 

Though on this earth justice will not be found, 
Fll down to hell, and in this passion 

Cnock at the dismal gates of Pluto's court, no 

jetting by force, as once Alcides did, 
\ troop of Furies and tormenting hags 
To torture Don Lorenzo and the rest. 
Yet lest the triple-headed porter should 
Deny my passage to the slimy s trond, 115 

The Thracian poet thou shalt counterfeit : 
Come on, old fathcr^bgjn^Orgheus^ 
Sid if thou canst no notes upon the harp> 
Theirsound the burdeiTof thy sore heart's grief, 
Till we do gain that Proserpine may grant ~~~ 120 

Revenge on them that murdered my son : 
Then will I rent and tear them thus and thus, 
Shivering their limbs in pieces with my teeth. 

Tear the papers. 

1. O sir, my declaration \ Exit HIERONIMO and they after. 

2. Save my bond! 125 

Save my bond! 

103. o'erturneth then] Hawkins; ore turnest then 1592; ore-turned then 
1618; o'erturneth thce conj. Gollancz. 121. murdered] murdred 

understand that in a storm it is the surface waters which are under real 
stress and which keep the necessary course of waves > and that Hieronimo 
considers himself like the labouring lesser waters compared with the much- 
moved Bazulto. Since the old man is a meaner wit, Hicronimo is ashamed of 
his lethargy. In spite of the tortuousness of the language, there is a strong 
resemblance to Hamlet's feelings of guilt after the First Player's exhibition 
of grief. 

in. Alcides} Hercules : the reference is to the last of the Labours. 

1 1 8. canst] knowest. 

122. rent} rend. 


5. Alas, my lease ! it cost me ten pound. 

And you, my lord, have torn the same. 
Hier. That cannot be, I gave it never a wound, 

Shew me one drop of blood fall from the same : 130 

How is it possible I should slay it then ? . 

Tush, no; run after, catch me if you can.-4-> 

Exeunt all but the Ofti Man. 
BAZULTO remains till HIERONIMO enters again, 
who, staring him in the face, speaks. 
Hier. And aruhoujcpme^ Hqratiojfrom the depth, 
I To ask for justice in this upper earth ? 
' To tell _thy father thou art unrcveng'd, 135 

To wring more tears from Isabella's eyes, 

Whose lights are dimm'd with over-long laments ? 

Go back my son, complain to Aeacus, 

For here's no justice : gentle boy be gone^. 

For justice is exiled from the earth : 140 

Hiennrnntrwill bear thee company. 

Thy mother cries on righteous Rhadamanth 

Forjustreyenge against the murderers. 
Senex. Alas my lord, whence springs this troubled speech ? 
Hier. But let me look on my Horatio : 145 

Sweet boy^Jiow art thou changM in death's black shade ! 

Had Proserpine no pity on thy youth ? 

But suffer'd thy fair crimson-colour'd spring 

With wither'd winter to be blasted thus ? 

Horatio, thou art older than thy father : 1 50 

Ah ruthless fate, that favour thus transforms ! 
Senex. Ah my good lord, I am not your young son. 
Hier. What, not my son ? thoujthcn, a fury art, 

Scntfrom the empty IdogdonCLOlblack night 

To summon me to make appearance 155 

151. fate] Dodsley; Father 1592. 

151. favour] countenance, looks, /jps's Father, which Dodsley emended 
to fate y is an obvious piece of dittography; Manly and Schick 2 retain 
father, but Schick's explanation of that favour thus transforms! as an abso- 
lute construction is far-fetched. 


Before grim Minos and just Rhadamanth, 

To plague Hieronimo that is remiss 

And seeks not vengeance for Horatio's death. 
Senex. I am a grieved man, and not a ghost, 

That came for justice for my murder 'd son. 1 60 

Hier. Ay, now I know thee, now thou nam'st thy son, 
I Thou art the lively image of my grief : | 
] WiflSiS^EyTace, my sorrows I may see. I 

Thy eyes are gumm'd with tears, thy cheeks are wan, 

Thy forehead troubled, and thy mutt 'ring lips 1 65 

Murmur sad words abruptly broken off, 

Byforce of windy sighs thy spirit breathes, 

And all this sorrow riseth for thy son : 

And selfsame sorrow feel I for my son. 

Come in old man, thou shalt to Isabel, 17 

Lean on my arm : I thee, thou me shalt stay,^ 

And thou, and I, and she ? will sing a song, 

'fhreepliHslnone, but all of discords fram'd 

^Talknot of cords, but let us now be gone, 

For with a cord Horatio was slain. Exeunt. 175 

[in. xiv] 

Enter KING of Spain, the DUKE, VICEROY, and 


King. Go brother, it is the Duke of Castile's cause, 

Salute the viceroy in our name. 
Cast. I go. 

Vice. Go forth, Don Pedro, for thy nephew's sake, 

And greet the Duke of Castile. 

1 6 1 . thy] / 62 3; my 159 2. 1 66 . off,] 753 2; off Manly . 

m. xiv. 1-2. Go . . . cause, / Salute ... I go.] 1610; as prose in 1592. i. it 
is] 1592; tis 1610. 

166-7.] Most edd. follow Boas and Manly in carrying the sense on 
through the two lines, thy spirit breathes becoming a relative clause. But the 
original punctuation, followed here, gives as good sense. 


PedrQ. It shall be so. 

King. And now to meet these Portuguese, 5 

For as we now are, so sometimes were these, 

Kings and commanders of the western Indies. 

Welcome, brave viceroy, to the court of Spain, 

And welcome, all his honourable train : 

'Tis not unknown to us, for why you come, 10 

Or have so kingly cross 'd the seas : 

Sufficeth it, in this we note the troth 

And more than common love you lend to us. 

So is it that mine honourable niece 

(For it beseems us now that it be known) 1 5 

Already is betroth'd to Balthazar : 

And by appointment and our condescent 

To-morrow are they to be married. 

To this intent we entertain thyself, 

Thy followers, their pleasure and our peace : 20 

Speak, men of Portingale, shall it be so ? 

If ay, say so : if not, say flatly no. 
Vice. Renowned king, I come not as thou jhink^st, 

With doubtful followers^unresolved men, 

But such as have upon thine articles 25 

Confirm'd thy motion and contented me. 

Know sovereign, I come to solemnize 

The marriage of thy beloved niece, 

Fair Bel-imperia, with my Balthazar 

With thee, my son, whom sith I live to see, 30 

Here take my crown, I give it her and thee, 

And let me live a solitary life, 

In ceaseless prayers, 

n. seas] 1592; raging seas Hazlitt. 

6-7.] Kyd is far from accurate; Portuguese imperialism had been 
directed towards India, Africa, and the East. Either Kyd was thinking of 
colonies in Brazil, or he simply confused the East and West Indies. 

ii.] an amusing howler in the light of the General's better knowledge at 
I. ii. 22-3. 

17. condescent} assent. 


To think how strangely heaven hath thee preserv'd. 
King. See brother, see, how nature strives in him ! 35 

Come worthy viceroy, and accompany 

Ajplace more private fits this princely mood. 
Vice. Or here or where your highness thinks if good. 

Exeunt all but CASTILE and LORENZO. 
Cast. Nay stay, Lorenzo, let me talk with you. 40 

Seest thou this entertainment of these kings ? 
Lor. I do my lord, and joy to see the same. 
Cast. And knowest thou why this meeting is ? 
Lor. For her, my lord, whom Balthazar doth love, 

And to confirm their promised marriage. 45 

Cast. She is thy sister ? 
Lor. Who, Bel-imperia ? 

Ay, my gracious lord, and this is the day 

That I have long'd so happily to see. 
Cast. Thou^vouldstjte^ 

hould intercept her injier happiness,. 50 

Lor. Heavens will not let Lorenzo err so much. 
Cast. Why then Lorenzo, listen to my words : 

It is suspected and reported too, 

That thou, Lorenzo, wrong'st Hieronimo, 

And in his suits towards his majesty 55 

Still keep'st him back, and seeks to cross his suit. 
Lor. That I, my lord ? 
Cast. I tell thee son, myself have heard it said, 

When to my sorrow I have been ashamed 

Toans wer forlEee^though thou art my son : 60 

Lorenzo, know'st thou not the common love 

And kindness that Hieronimo hath won 

By his deserts within the court of Spain ? 

37. with thine] 1592; to strive with thine Manly. 46-8. She . . . Bel- 
imperia ? / Ay . . . day / That . . . see.] She . . . Sister ? / Who . . . Lord, / 
And . . . see. 1592. 

37. extremities} intense emotions (O.E.D., 4). 
50. intercept] interrupt, break in upon. 


Or seest thou not the king my brother's care 

In his behalf, and to procure his health ? 65 

Lorenzo, shouldst thou thwart his passions, 

And he exclaim against thee to the king, 

What honour were't in this assembly, 

Or what a scandal were't among the kings 

To hear Hieronimo exclaim on thee ? 70 

Tell me, and look thou tell me truly too, 

Whence grows the ground of this report in court ? 
Lor.iMy lord, it lies not in Lorenzo's power 

To stop the vulgar, liberal of their tongues : 

A small advantage makes a water-breach, 75 

And no man lives that long contenteth all. Y> 

CVztf /Myself have seen thee busy to keep back - ~*7 

Him and his supplications from the king. 
L0r., Yourself, my lord, hath seen his passions, 

* That ill-beseem'd the presence of a king, 80 

And for I pitied him in his distress, 

I held him thence with kind and courteous words, 

AS free from malice to Hieronimo 

As to my soul, my lord. 

Cast. Hieronimo, my son, mistakes thee then. 85 

Lor. My gracious father^believe me so he doth. 

Butwhat's a silly man^ distracnnjninsl, 

To think upon the murder of his son ? 

Alas, how easy is it for him to err ! 

74. vulgar, liberal] Dodsley; vulgar liberall 1592. 79. hath] 1592; 
have 1602. 

74. liberal] licentious. 

75. advantage} There is no exact parallel in O.E.D., but cf. advantage, 4, 
'a favourable occasion, an opportunity*. The image of waters flooding 
through a small break is not uncommon; cf. Ralegh, Ocean To Cynthia, 
11. 22 iff., and Spenser, F.Q., vi, i, 21. 

8 1. And for] Most modern edd. follow Boas in putting a comma between 
and and/or, making a parenthesis of for I pitied him in his distress, and losing 
the force of the (now obsolete) meaning of for 'because* ; cf. Tempest, 
I. ii. 272 : 'and for thou wast a spirit too delicate, ... she did confine thee'; 
see Schmidt, s.v./or, conj., 2. 


But for his satisfaction and the world's, 90 

'Twere good, my lord, that Hieronimo and I 
Were reconcil'd, if he misconster me. 
Cast. Lorenzo thou hast said, it shall be so, 
Go one of you and call Hieronimo. 

Bal. Come Bel-imperia, Balthazar's content, 95 

My sorrow's ease and sovereign of m^bHss, 

Sith heaven hath ordain'd thee to be mine : 

Disperse those clouds and melancholy looks, 
\ And clear them up with those thy sun-bright eyes 
1 Wherein my hope and heaven's fair beauty lies. 100 

Bel. My looks, my lord, are fitting for my love, 

Which, new begun, can show n<obrighter yt. 
Bal. New-kindUtedflflines s liquid bnrnjs morning sun. 
Bd* But not too fast, lest heat and all be done) 

I see my lord my father. 
Bal. Truce, my love, 1 05 

I will go salute him. 
Cast. Welcome Balthazar, 

Welcome brave prince, the pledge of Castile's peace : 

And welcome Bel-imperia. How now, girl ? 

Why com'st thou sadly to salute us thus ? 

Content thyself, for I am satisfied, 1 10 

^t is not now as when Andrea liv'd, 

We have forgotten and forgiven that, 

And thou art graced with a happier love. 

But Balthazar, here comes Hieronimo, 

I'll have a word with him. 115 

Enter HIERONIMO and a Servant. 

102. no brighter] 1594; brighter 1592. 105-7. 1 see m Y love, / 1 will 
. . . Balthazar, / Welcome . . . peace:] Manly, Schick; I see ... Father. / 
Truce . . . him. / Welcome . . . Prince, / The . . . peace: 

92. misconster] interpret wrongly, misconstrue. 

ico. lies] singular verb after double subject, as frequently in Elizabethan 


Hier. And where's the duke ? 

Ser. Yonder. 

Hier. Even so: 

What new device have they devised, trow ? 

Pocas palabrasy mild as the lamb, 

Is't I will be reveng'd ? no, I am not the man. 
Cast. Welcome Hieronimo. 120 

Lor. Welcome Hieronimo. 
BaL Welcome Hieronimo. 
Hier. My lords, I thank you for Horatio. 
Cast. Hieronimo, the reason that I sent 

To speak with you, is this. 
Hier. What, so short ? 125 

Then I'll be gone, I thank you for't. 
Cast. Nay, stay, Hieronimo ! Go call him, son. 
Lor. Hieronimo, my father craves a word with you. 
Hier. With me, sir ? why my lord, I thought you had done. 
Lor. [aside.] No, would he had. 
Cast. Hieronimo, I hear 130 

You find yourself aggrieved at my son 

Because you have not access unto the king, 

And say 'tis he that intercepts your suits. 
Hier. Why, is not this a miserable thing, my lord ? 
Cast. Hieronimo, I hope you have no cause, 135 

And would be loath that one of your deserts 

Should once have reason to suspect my son, 

Considering how I think of you myself. 
Hier. Your son Lorenzo ? whom, my noble lord ? 

The hope of Spain, mine honourable friend ? 140 

Grant me the combat of them, if they dare. 

Draws out his sword. 

116-17. . . . Even so: / What , . . trow ?] Manly, S chick; Euen so ... tro ? 
1592. 128. Lor.] 1602; not in 1592. 130. Hieronimo, I hear] begins 
I. 131 in 1592. 

118. Pocas palabras] 'few words* (Spanish). Another phrase which be- 
came part of the furniture of Elizabethan drama. 
133. intercepts] stands in the way of. 


I'll meet him face to face to tell me so. 

These be the scandalous reports of such 

As love not me, and hate my lord too much. 

Should I suspect Lorenzo would prevent 145 

Or cross my suit, that lov'd my son so well ? 

My lord, I am asham'd it should be said. 
Lor. Hieronimo, I never gave you cause. 
Hier. My good lord, I know you did not. 
Cast. There then pause, 

And for the satisfaction of the world, 1 50 

Hieronimo, frequent my homely house, 

The Duke of Castile, Cyprian's ancient seat, 

And when thou wilt, use me, my son, and it : 

But here, before Prince Balthazar and me, 

Embrace each other, and be perfect friends. 155 

Hier. Ay marry my lord, and shall : 

Friends, quoth he ? see, I'll be friends with you all : 

Specially with you, my lovely lord; 

For divers causes it is fit for us 

ThatY^bjeiriends the world is suspicious*. 1 60 

And^men may think what we imagine not. 
Bal. Why, this is friendly done, Hieronimo. 
Lor. And thus, I hope, old grudges are forgot 
Hier. What else ? it were a shame it should not be so. 
Cast. Come on, Hieronimo, at my request ; 1 65 

144. love] 1610; loues 1592. 149-50. . . . There then pause, / And . . . 
world,] Hawkins; There then pause . . . world, 1592. 158. Specially] 
*59 2 ; Especially Dodsley. 163. And thus, I hope,] Dodsley; And that 
I hope 1592. 

144. love] There is a case for retaining /5^^'s loves in spite of the incon- 
sistency with hate, on the ground that Hieronimo's speech is no longer 
always logical; Manly, Boas, Schick 2 preserve the original, but I feel it more 
likely that there has been a compositor's slip. 

145. prevent] forestall. 

151. homely] hospitable, 'home-like* (O.E.D.) 3) ; the more usual meaning 
is 'plain', 'simple', even 'crude'. 

163. And thus] See Textual Notes; recent edd. have not made good sense 
by returning to the original and punctuating And that I hope : old grudges are 
forgot ? 


Let us entreat your company today. 

Exeunt [all but HIERONIMO]. 

Hier. Your lordship's to command. Pha ! keep your way. 
Chi mi fa piu carezze che non suole> 
Tradito mi ha, o tradir mi vuole. Exit. 

[ill. xv] 

Ghost [of ANDREA] and REVENGE. 

Andrea. Awake, Erichtho ! Cerberus, awake ! 
Solicit Pluto, gentle Proserpine, 
To combat, Acheron and Erebus ! 
For ne'er by Styx and Phlegethon in hell 

167. Pha!] Pha: 1592; Pah! Schick; Pho! conj. MSR (1592). Pha! . . . 
way.] separate line 1592. 168. Chi] Manly ', Schick; Mi. Chi 1592; Mi! 
Chi Hawkins. fa piu carezze] Hawkins; fa ? Pui Correzza 1592. suole] 
Hawkins; sule 1592. 169. mi ha] Hawkins; viha 1592. o tradir mi] 
Hawkins; otrade 1592. vuole] Hawkins; vule 1592. 

in. xv. o.i. Ghost] This ed.; Enter Ghoast 1592. i. Andrea.] Ghost. 1592 
(and throughout). Erichtho] Fleischer; Erictha 1592; Alccto Hazlitt. 

3. Acheron] Hawkins; Achinon 1592. Erebus] Hawkins; Ericus 1592. 

4. ne'er] Dodsley; neere 1592. in hell] Schick; ends I. 3 in 1592. 

167. Pha/] It seems unnecessary to modernize the exclamation with 
Schick. O.E.D. has examples ofPhah and Pho as exclamations of disgust in 
1592 and 1601. 

168-9.] 'He who shows unaccustomed fondness for me has betrayed me 
or wants to betray me.' Keller (Archiv, ciii, 387) points out that a slightly 
different form of this proverb is to be found in Sandford's Garden of 
Pleasure (1573), a translation of Guicciardini's Proverbs of Piovano> and in 
Florio's First Fruits (1578), f. 26r. J. C. Maxwell (P.Q., xxx(i95i), 86) 
would omit mi before vuole on the grounds of scansion and greater fidelity 
to 1592. 

in. xv. o.i.] Enter is omitted since Andrea and Revenge are clearly on 
stage the whole time. Concerning the extent of the corruption in the scene 
which follows, see Introduction, pp. xxxiii-xxxiv. 

I. Erichtho] 'This means, of course, the Thessalian sorceress Erichtho, 
well known from Lucan, Ovid, Dante, and Goethe's Faust. She is often 
introduced in the Elizabethan drama (cp. especially Marston's Sophonisba)' 

4-7.] Although this passage is extremely corrupt, something faintly 


Nor ferried Charon to the fiery lakes 6 

Such fearful sights as poor Andrea sees ! 

Revenge, awake! 
Revenge. Awake ? for why ? 
Andrea. Awake, Revenge, for thou art ill-advis'd 10 

To sleep ; awake ! what, thou art warn'd to watch ! 
Revenge. Content thyself, and do not trouble me. 
Andrea. Awake, Revenge, if love, as love hath had, 

Have yet the power or prevalence in hell ! 

Hicronimo with Lorenzo is join'd in league 15 

And intercepts our passage to revenge : 

Awake, Revenge, or we are woe-begone ! 
Revenge. Thus worldlings ground, what they have dream' d, upon. 

Content thyself, Andrea; though I sleep, 

Yet is my mood soliciting their souls : 20 

Sufficeth thee that poor Hieronimo 

Cannot forget his son Horatio. 

Nor dies Revenge although he sleep awhile, 

For in unquiet, quietness is feign'd, 

And slumb'ring is a common worldly wile. 25 

Behold, Andrea, for an instance how 

6. Nor ferried] 1592; O'er-ferried Schick. 7. sees !] sees / 602; see ? 1592. 
II. To sleep] 1594; Thsleep 1592. awake!] awake: 1633; away, 1592. 
14. prevalence] preuailance 753.2. 17. begone] 1594; degone 1592. 

approaching meaning can be perceived, and emendations are saved, if we 
suppose that a line to balance 1. 7 has dropped out after 1. 4, something of 
the order of Was I distressed with outrage sore as this. 

ii. awake!] Manly, Boas, and Brooke retain away but repunctuate 'To 
sleep away what thou art warn'd to watch.' Hawkins' emendation pre- 
serves the principle of 1592'$ punctuation and no-one can cavil at an extra 
awake! in this scene. 

14. prevalence} /jp^'s spelling indicates the meaning (O.E.D., i). 

1 8. ground . . . upon] found their beliefs on what is a mere dream or fancy. 
Cf. O.E.D., ground, v., 4b, intransitive for reflexive. 

20. mood] The meaning 'mind' or 'thought' which suggests itself was 
obsolescent or obsolete in Kyd's day (O.E.D., sb. 1 , i) ; it is just possible that 
the meaning 'anger* would fit this context (O.E.D., s6. 1 , 2b). 

24.] If the text of this scene represents a 'reported* version, this line 
could be explained as an inapposite recollection of Hieronimo's dissembling 
quiet in unquietness (in. xiii. 30). 


Revenge hath slept, and then imagine thou 
What 'tis to be subject to destiny. 

Enter a Dumb Show. 

Andrea. Awake, Revenge, reveal this mystery. 

Revenge. The two first, the nuptial torches bore, 30 

As brightly burning as the mid- day's sun : 

But after them doth Hymen hie as fast, 

Clothed in sable, and a saffron robe, 

And blows them out and quencheth them with blood, 

As discontent that things continue so. 35 

Andrea. Sufficeth me, thy meaning's understood, 

And thanks to thee and thoseinfernal powers 

That will not tolerate a lover's woe. 

Rest thee, for I will sit to see the rest. 
Revenge. Then argue not, for thou hast thy request. 40 

30. bore] boare 1592; bear Fleischer, Manly. 40.1. A] Exeunt. 1592. 
29. mystery] See note to I. i. 90. 

Act IV 

[IV. i] 


Bel Is this the love thou bear'st Horatio ? 

Is this the kindness that thou counterfeits ? 

Are these the fruits of thine incessant tears ? 

Hieronimo, are these thy passions. 

Thy protestations and thy deep laments, 5 

That thou wert wont to weary men withal ? 

O unkind father, O deceitful world ! 

With what excuses canst thou show thyself, 

With what 

From this dishonour and the hate of men ? 10 

Thus to neglect the loss and life of him 

Whom both my letters and thine own belief 

Assures thee to be causeless slaughtered. 

Hieronimo, for shame, Hieronimo, 

Be not a history to after- times 1 5 

Of such ingratitude unto thy son. 

Unhappy mothers of such children then, 

Act iv] Actus Quartus 1592. 9. With what . . . ] With what dishonour, 
and the hate of men, 1592; not in Schick. 

9.] The line in 75,9.2 contains the first two words of the preceding line and 
then the last six words of the succeeding line. The best explanation is that 
the line ran, perhaps as Boas suggests, With what devices seek thyself to save, 
or something of that order. It may be the compositor, after With what, 
almost went on with the line above, which begins in the same way; made 
too violent a correction and jumped to the line below, and never saw what 
he had done. 

13. Assures] singular verb after double subject once more. Cf. Franz, 673. 

17-20.] anacoluthon. 


But monstrous fathers, to forget so soon 

The death of those whom they with care and cost 

Have tender'd so, thus careless should be lost. 20 

Myself, a stranger in respect of thee, 

So lov'd his life, as still I wish their deaths, 

Nor shall his death 

Although I bear it out for fashion's sake : 
For here I swear in sight of heaven and earth, 25 

Shouldst thou neglect the love thou shouldst retain 
And give it over and devise no more, 
Myself should send their hateful souls to hell, 
That wrought his downfall with extremest death. 
Hier. But may it be that Bel-imperia 30 

Vows such revenge as she hath deign'd to say ? 
Why then, I see that heaven applies our drift, 
And all the saints do sit soliciting 
For vengeance on those cursed murderers. 
Madam, 'tis true, and now I find it so, 35 

I found a letter, written in your name, 
And in that letter, how Horatio died. 

32. applies] 1592; applauds conj. Collier. 

20. tender'd} cherished, looked after. 

2 1 . stranger . . . thee] a stranger to him compared with you, his father. 

24. bear it out for fashion's sake] make a pretence of accepting the situ- 
ation for the sake of appearances. Bear it out is a difficult phrase, and 
parallels to suit this context are hard to come by, in O.E.D. or elsewhere, 
though the phrase occurs frequently. 

fashion's sake] Cf. O.E.D., fashion, sb., 7. 

32. applies our drift] either supports what we are working towards or 
directs our course. A most difficult phrase, though Collier's emendation is a 
last resort, drift = 'that at which one drives' as used in modern English 
with reference to an argument, etc., hence 'direction', 'intention', or, pos- 
sibly, 'plan', 'scheme', as frequently in Shakespeare, applies may be as III. 
ix. 13 -= 'assent', 'conform', or, by association, 'comply'; but, if so, the con- 
struction needs a preposition (cf. O.RD., 19). Or it may be (O.E.D., 22) 
echoing applicare navem guide, direct. Schick 1 supported the latter 
sense, but his paraphrase as a whole is wrong, viz. : 'Heaven furthers our 
drifting plans, brings them to a definite goal'; Hieronimo is conscious of 
receiving, not direction, but encouragement from above, and the para- 
phrase should be, 'Heaven is assisting us towards our goal'. 


Pardon, O pardon, Bel-imperia, 

My fear and care in not believing it, 

Nor think I thoughtless think upon a mean 40 

To let his death be unreveng'd at full, 

And here I vow (so you but give consent, 

And will conceal my resolution) 

I will ere long determine of their deaths, 

That causeless thus have murdered my son. 45 

Bel. Hieronimo, I will consent, conceal, 

And aught that may effect for thine avail, 

Join with thee to revenge Horatio's death. 
Hier. On then, whatsoever I devise, 

Let me entreat you grace my practices ; 50 

For why, the plot's already in mine head. 

Here they are. 


Bal. How now, Hieronimo ? 

What, courting Bel-imperia ? 
Hier. Ay my lord, 

Such courting as, I promise you, 

She hath my heart, but you, my lord, have hers. 55 

Lor. But now, Hieronimo, or never, 

We are to entreat your help. 
Hier. My help? 

Why my good lords, assure yourselves of me, 

For you have given me cause, 

Ay, by my faith have you. 

45. murdered] 1602; murderd 1592. 52-61.] Lineation as Schick; 1^92 
reads: Heere they are. / How now . . . Bel-imperia. / 1 my lord . . . promise 
you / She hath . . . hers. / But now . . . your helpe. / My help ... of me. / 
For you . . . haue you. / It pleasde . . . Embassadour. 

39. care] caution. 

47. avail] assistance (O.E.D., sb., 2) rather than profit (O.E.D., i). 

50. grace} give favour to, support, 'be gracious to* (O.E.D., v., 2). 

52.] The metre of the remainder of this scene is frequently defective : see 
Textual Introduction, p. xxxiv. Attempts to supply its deficiencies are only 
made if there seems some possibility of restoring the original rhythms. 


Bal. It pleas'd you 60 

At the entertainment of the ambassador 

To grace the king so much as with a show : 

Now were your study so well furnished, 

As for the passing of the first night's sport 

To entertain my father with the like, 65 

Or any such-like pleasing motion, 

Assure yourself it would content them well. 
Hier. Is this all? 
Bal. Ay, this is all. 
Hier. Why then I'll fit you, say no more. 70 

When I was young, I gave my mind 

And plied myself to fruitless poetry: 

Which though it profit the professor naught, 

Yet is it passing pleasing to the world. j 

Lor. And how for that ? 
Hier. Marry, my good lord, thus 75 

And yet methinks you are too quick with us 

When in Toledo there I studied, 

It was my chance to write a tragedy, 

See here my lords, He shows them a book. 

Which long forgot, I found this other day. 80 

Now would your lordships favour me so much 

As but to grace me with your acting it 

I mean each one of you to play a part 

Assure you it will prove most passing strange 

And wondrous plausible to that assembly. 85 

62. grace} honour. Balthazar shows a typical obsequiousness in talking of 
an official's being pleased to grace the King. 

66. motion} entertainment, 'show*. The word is first recorded in the sense 
of a puppet-show in 1589 (O.E.D., sb., 133); the more general sense here is 
possibly unique, but the only possible alternative sense idea, or sugges- 
tion seems most unlikely. 

70. /' II fit you] The phrase has a double sense : (a) "I'll provide what you 
need* (O.E.D.,fit, v. 1 , n), and (>) Til pay you out' or 'I'll punish you as 
you deserve'. Usage (b) was well-established before 1625, the date of 
O.E.D.'s first quotation (s.v. fit, v. 1 , 12). Cf. Massinger and Field, The 
Fatal Dowry ( ?i6i9; before 1620), in. i. 253. 

85. plausible] acceptable, agreeable (O.E.D., 2). 


Bal. What, would you have us play a tragedy ? 
Hier. Why, Nero thought it no disparagement. 

And kings and emperors have ta'en delight 

To make experience of their wits in plays ! 
Lor. Nay, be not angry, good Hieronimo, 90 

The prince but asked a question. 
Bal. In faith, Hieronimo, and you be in earnest, 

Til make one. 
Lor. And I another. 
Hier. Now my good lord, could you entreat 95 

Your sister Bel-imperia to make one 

For what's a play without a woman in it ? 
Bel. Little entreaty shall serve me, Hieronimo, 

For I must needs be employed in your play. 
Hier. Why, this is well ; I tell you, lordings, 100 

It was determined to have been acted 

By gentlemen and scholars too, 

Such as could tell what to speak. 
Bal. And now it shall be play'd by princes and courtiers, 

Such as can tell how to speak, 105 

If, as it is our country manner, 

You will but let us know the argument. 
Hier. That shall I roundly. The chronicles of Spain 

Record this written of a knight of Rhodes^ 

He was betroth'd and wedded at the length 1 10 

105. speak,] speak: 1592. 

87. disparagement] Cf. note on in. x. 36-8. 

89. experience] trial. 

105.] Although these unmetrical exchanges may be corrupt, some edd. 
do not help the sense by preserving /5 v 9^'s colon after speak. I see no value 
in the opposition of what to speak (1. 103) and how to speak, and doubt that 
the variation is authoritative. Balthazar says (a little disdainfully) that 
princes and courtiers can tell what to speak as well as gentlemen and 
scholars if only Hieronimo will be good enough to explain the plot to 

108. roundly] directly, without ado. The story of Soliman and Perseda is 
found in J. Yver's Printemps driver (1572) translated by H. Wotton in 1578 
as Counlie Controversie of Cupids Cautels. The relevant parts of the latter 
are reprinted in Sarrazin, pp. 12-39. 


To one Perseda^ an Italian dame. 

Whose beauty ravish'd all that her beheld, 

Especially the soul of Soliman, 

Who at the marriage was the chiefest guest. 

By sundry means sought Soliman to win 115 

Perseda's love, and could not gain the same. 

Then gan he break his passions to a friend, 

One of his bashaws whom he held full dear; 

Her had this bashaw long solicited, 

And saw she was not otherwise to be won 120 

But by her husband's death, this knight of Rhodes, 

Whom presently by treachery he slew. 

She, stirr'd with an exceeding hate therefore, 

As cause of this slew Soliman, 

And to escape the bashaw's tyranny 125 

Did stab herself: and this the tragedy. 
Lor. O excellent! 
Bel. But say, Hieronimo, 

Wharthen became of him that was the bashaw ? 
Hier. Marry thus, moved with remorse of his misdeeds, 

Ran to a mountain top and hung himself. 1 30 

Bal. But which of us is to perform that part ? 
Hier. Oh, that will I, my lords, make no doubt of it : 

I'll play the murderer, I warrant you, 

For I already have conceited that. 

Bal. And what shall I ? 135 

Hier. Great Soliman, the Turkish emperor. 
Lor. And I? 

Hier. Eras tus, the knight of Rhodes. 
Bel. And I? 
Hier. Perseda, chaste and resolute. 140 

And here, my lords, are several abstracts drawn, 

127-8. O excellent . . . Hieronimo, / What . . . bashaw ?] Boas; O excellent. / 
But say ... him / That . . . Bashaw ? 1592. 

134. conceited] formed a conception of; Hieronimo says that the idea of 
playing a murderer has been in his mind some time. 


For each of you to note your parts. 

And act it as occasion's offer'd you. 

You must provide a Turkish cap, 

A black mustachio and a fauchion ; 145 

Gives a paper to BALTHAZAR. 

You with a cross like to a knight of Rhodes ; 

Gives another to LORENZO. 

And madam, you must attire yourself 

Hegiveth BEL-IMPERIA another. 

Like Phoebe, Flora, or the Huntress, 

Which to your discretion shall seem best. 

And as for me, my lords, I'll look to one, 1 50 

And with the ransom that the viceroy sent 

So furnish and perform this tragedy, 

As all the world shall say Hieronimo 

Was liberal in gracing of it so. 

BaL Hieronimo, methinks a comedy were better. 155 

Hier. A comedy? 

Fie, comcdiesjirejit for common wits : 

But to present a kingly troop withal, 

Give me a stately-written tragedy, 

Tragedia cothurnata> fitting kings, 160 

Containing matter^and^ not common things. 

My lords, all this must be performed 

As fitting for the first night's revelling. 

The Italian tragedians were so sharp of wit, 

That in one hour's meditation 165 

They would perform anything in action. 

148. Huntress] huntresse 1592; Hunteress Schick; huntresse Dian conj. 
Kinredge. 156-7. A comedy ? / Fie . . . wits :] A Comedie, . . . wits 1592. 
160. cothurnata} Dodsley; cother nato 1592. 

145. fauchion} falchion, a broad curved sword; the spelling is a variant 
which shows the proper pronunciation. 

154. gracing] See I. iv. 137. 

1 60. Tragedia cothurnata] buskin'd tragedy, i.e., the most serious and 

164-6.] a reference to the improvisations of the commedia dell' arte. 


Lor. And well it may, for I have seen the like 

In Paris, 'mongst the French tragedians. 
Hier. In Paris ? mass, and well remembered ! 

There's one thing more that rests for us to do. 170 

Bal. What's that, Hieronimo ? forget not anything. 
Hier. Each one of us must act his part 

In unknown languages, 

That it may breed the more variety. 

As you, my lord, in Latin, I in Greek, 175 

You in Italian, and for because lluiow 

That Bel-imperia hath practised the French, 

In courtly French shall all her phrases be. 
Bel. You mean to try my cunning then, Hieronimo. 
Bal. But this will be a mere confusion, 180 

And hardly shall we all be understood. 
Hier. It must be so, for the conclusion 

Shall prove the invention and all was good : 

And I myself in an oration, 

And with a strange and wondrous show besides, 185 

That I will have there behind a curtain, 

Assure yourself shall make the matter known. 

And all shall be concluded in one scene, 

Forj:hee > s no pleasure ta'en in tediousness. 
Bal. [aside to LORENZO.] How like you this ? 190 

Lor. Why thus, my lord, 

We must resolve to soothe his humours up. 
Bal. On then, Hieronimo, farewell till soon. 
Hier. You'll ply this gear ? 

169. remembered] remembred 1592. 185-6.] As i6os; lines transposed 
in 1592. 192. We must resolve] ends I. 191 in 1592. 194. gear ?] geere. 

173. In unknown languages} For the problems raised by this unfulfilled 
promise, see Introduction, pp. xxxiv-xxxvii. 

181. hardly} with difficulty. 

192. soothe . . . up] indulge him in his whims, humour him (O.E.D., 
soothe> 4b). Cf. Alphonsus of Ar agon, Act IV: 'Are they wax'd so frolic now 
of late / As that they think that mighty Amurack / Dares do no other than to 
soothe them up ?' 



Lor. I warrant you. 

Exeunt all but HIERONIMO. 
Hier. Why, so: 

Now shall I see the fall of Babylon, 195 

Wrought by the heavens in this confusion. 

And if the world like not this tragedy. 

Hard is the hap of old Hierommo. Exit. 

[iv. ii] 

Enter ISABELLA with a weapon. 

Isab. Tell me no more ! O monstrous homicides ! 
Since neither piety nor pity moves 
The king to justice or compassion, 
I will revenge myself upon this place 

Where thus they murder'd my beloved son. 5 

She cuts down the arbour. 

Down with these branches and these loathsome boughs 
Of this unfortunate and fatal pine : 
Down with them Isabella, rent them up 
And burn the roots from whence the rest is sprung : 
I will not leave a root, a stalk, a tree, 10 

A bough, a branch, a blossom, nor a leaf, 
No, not an herb within this garden plot 
Accursed complot of my misery. 
Fruitless for ever may this garden be, 
Barren the earth, and blissless whosoever 1 5 

194-5. Why so: / Now . . . Babylon,] Why so ... Babilon, 1592. 
rv. ii. i. hob.] not in 1592. 

195. the fall of Babylon] See Revelation, chap. 18. But in view of the plan 
for a confusion of tongues it may be that the tower of Babylon, i.e., Babel, 
is in Hieronimo's mind. (I owe this suggestion to Mrs E. E. Duncan-Jones.) 

rv. ii. 5.1.] Presumably Isabella goes through the motions or strips the 
arbour of its leaves. See note to n. iv. 53. 
8. rent] See in. xiii. 122. 


Imagines not to keep it unmanur'd ! 

An eastern wind commix'd with noisome airs 

Shall blast the plants and the young saplings, 

The earth with serpents shall be pestered, 

And passengers, for fear to be infect, 20 

Shall stand aloof, and looking at it, tell, 

'There, murder'd, died the son of .Isabel.' 

Ay, here he died, and here I him embrace : 

See where his ghost solicits with his wounds 


HieronimQ, make haste to see thy son, 
For sorrow and despair hath cited me 
To hear Horatio plead with Rhadarnaatb : 
Make haste, Hieronimo, to hold excus'd 
Thy negligence in pursuit of their deaths, 30 

Whose hateful wrath bereav'd him of his breath. 
Ah nay, thou dost delay their deaths, 
Forgives the murderers of thy noble son, 
And none but I bestir me to no end. 

Andjjj:urse this tree from further fruit^ 35 

J>oshall my wombj>e cursed for his sake, 
And_with this weapon will I^ound the Jbreast, 

She stabs herself. 
The haplessbreast, that gave Horatio suck. [Exit.] 

27. cited] scitcd 159*. 29. to hold excus'd] 1592; or hold accus'd Hazlitt. 
34. me to no end] me to no end 1592, 37.1. She stabs herself.] 1592; 
after I. 38 in 1602. 

1 6. unmanur'd] uncultivated. 

20. passengers] passers-by. 

27. hath] singular after double subject. 

cited] summoned. 

38. [Exit.]] The compositor was very cramped at the foot of the page 
(K.2) and a direction for removing Isabella's body may be missing. Isabella 
has no curtains to fall behind; there could be no better proof that an inner- 
stage did not exist than the very next direction, which shows Hieronimo 
having to arrange a curtain to conceal Horatio's body. Isabella must some- 
how be got off stage; in spite of all modern edd., the place for the direction 
to stab herself is, as in 1592, before the last line; by inserting a simple Exit 
we establish no theory about what is missing from 1592, but, if she is to drag 


[IV. iii] 

Enter HIERONIMO; he knocks up the curtain. 
Enter the DUKE of CASTILE. 

Cast. How now Hieronimo, where's your fellows, 

That you take all this pain ? 
Hier. O sir, it is for the author's credit 

To look that all things may go well : 

But good my lord, let me entreat your grace 5 

To give the king the copy of the play : 

This is the argument of what we show. 
Cast. I will, Hieronimo. 
Hier. One thing more, my good lord. 

Cast. What's that? 10 

Hier. Let me entreat your grace, 

That when the train are pass'd into the gallery 

You would vouchsafe to throw me down the key. 
Cast. I will, Hieronimo. Exit CASTILE. 

Hier. What, are you ready, Balthazar ? 15 

Bring a chair and a cushion for the king. 

Enter BALTHAZAR with a chair. 

herself, wounded, off-stage, she has one line to speak as she does so. Hoslcy 
notes (privately) that in Davenant's The Just Italian (1629) the wounded 
Altamont leaves the stage, alone, with the direction, l Reeles off) Exit. 9 

iv. iii. o.i. knocks up the curtain] It is difficult to judge what precisely 
Hieronimo does, (i) What is involved in 'knocking up* a curtain ? Probably 
a hasty hanging of a curtain in a prepared place, but O.E.D. gives only late 
examples (s.v. knock, v., I4c (knock together), and i6d (knock w/>), referring 
to hasty constructions for a temporary purpose), (ii) Where was the cur- 
tain ? The best suggestion is that it hung over one of the doors, so that 
Horatio's body could conveniently be brought behind it. 

12-13.] The gallery is not a balcony but the hall ; it is clear from the action 
later, and (as Hosley points out) from Balthazar's bringing on a chair for the 
King (1. 1 6), that the audience of the play-within-the-play is on the main 
stage with the actors, throw me down the key must therefore mean * throw the 
key down [on the floor] for me'. 


Well done Balthazar, hang up the title, 

Our scene is Rhodes ; what, is your beard on ? 
BaL Half on, the other is in my hand. 
Hier. Despatch for shame, are you so long? Exit BALTHAZAR . 20 

Bethink thyself, Hieronimo, 

Recall thy wits, recompt thy former wrongs 

Thou hast receiv'd by murder of thy son, 

And lastly, not least, how Isabel, 

Once his mother and thy dearest wife, 25 

All woe-begone for him hath slain herself. 

Behoves thee then, Hieronimo, to be reveng'd : 

The plot is laid of dire revenge : 

Onthen, Hieronimo, pursue revenge, 

For nothing wants but acting of revenge. Exit HIERONIMO. 

[iv. iv] 

Enter Spanish KING, VICEROY, the DUKE of CASTILE, 
and their train. 

King. Now, Viceroy, shall we see the tragedy 

Of Soliman the Turkish emperor, 

Perform'd of pleasure by your son the prince, 

My nephew, Don Lorenzo, and my niece. 

Vice. Who, Bel-imperia ? 5 

King. Ay, and Hieronimo our marshal, 

At whose request they deign to do't themselves : 

These be our pastimes in the court of Spain. 

Here brother, you shall be the book-keeper : 9 

This is the argument of that they show. He giveth him a book. 

22. recompt] 1592; recount 1602. 

17. title] For the use of title-boards and locality-labels in public and pri- 
vate theatres, see Eliz. Stage, in, 126-7, 1 54- 

19.] Marston, in Antonio's Revenge (1599), attempts some sophisticated 
humour by making Balurdo enter 'with a beard half-off, half on', saying 
'the tyring man hath not glcwd on my beard halfe fast enough. Gods bores, 
it wil not stick to fal off.' 


Gentlemen) this play O/HIERONIMO in sundry languages, was 

thought good to be set down in English more largely, 

for the easier understanding to every 

public reader. 


Bal. Bashaw, that Rhodes is ours, yield heavens the honour, 

And holy Mahomet, our sacred prophet : 

And be thou graced with every excellence 

That Soliman can give, or thou desire. 

But thy desert in conquering Rhodes is less 1 5 

Than in reserving this fair Christian nymph, 

Perseda, blissful lamp of excellence, 

Whose eyes compel, like powerful adamant, 

The warlike heart of Soliman to wait. 
King. See, Viceroy, that is Balthazar your soir 20 

That represents the emperor Soliman : 

How well he acts his amorous passion. 
Vice. Ay, Bel-imperia hath taught him that. 
Cast. That's because his mind runs all on Bel-imperia. 
Hier. Whatever joy earth yields betide your majesty. 25 

Bal. Earth yields no joy without Per sedans love. 
Hier. Let then Perseda on your grace attend. 
Bal. She shall not wait on me, but I on her: 

Drawn by the influence of her lights, I yield. 

But let my friend, the Rhodian knight, come forth, 30 

Erasto, dearer than my life to me, 

That he may see Perseda, my beloved. 

Enter Erasto. 

King. Here comes Lorenzo ; look upon the plot, 

And tell me, brother, what part plays he ? 
Bel. Ah my Erasto, welcome to Perseda. 35 

io.i.] For the problem posed by this note, see Introduction, pp. xxxiv, 

35.] The use of the third person and frequent vocatives indicates the 


Lor. Thrice happy is Erasto that thou liv'st, 

Rhodes' loss is nothing to Erastolsjoy: 

Sith his Perseda lives, his life survives. 
Bal. Ah Bashaw, here is love between Erasto 

And fair Perseda, sovereign of my soul. 40 

Hier. Remove Erasto^ mighty Soliman, 

And then Perseda will be quickly won. 
Bal. Erasto is my friend, and while he livej 

Perseda never will remove her love. 

Hier. Let not Erasto live to grieve great Soliman. 45 

Bal. Dear is Erasto in our princely eye. 
Hier. But if he be your rival, let him die. 
Bal. Why, let him die j so love_commandeth me. 

YeJtgrieveJ that Erasto should so die. 
Hier. Erasto, Soliman saluteth thee, 50 

And lets thee wit by me his highness* will, 

Which is, thou shouldst be thus employed. Stab him. 

Bel. Ay me, 

Erasto ! see, Soliman, Erasto's slain I 
Bal. Yet liveth Soliman to comfort thee. 

Fair queen of beauty, let not favour die, 55 

But with a gracious eye behold his grief, 

That with Perseda 9 s beauty is increased* 

If by Perseda grief be not released. 
Bel. Tyrant, desist soliciting vain suits, 

Relentless are mine ears to thy laments, 60 

As thy butcher is pitiless and base, 

Which seized on my Erasto, harmless knight. 
I Yet by thy power thou thinkest to command, 
I And to thy power Perseda doth obey: 

52. Ay me,} begins I. 53 in 1592. 58. Perseda] Manly; Persedaes 1592; 
Perseda his S chick. 

parts the actors arc assuming (cf. Bradbrook, Themes and Conventions, 
p. 102 n.). 

48. so love commandeth me] if it be so that . . . But the verb should be in 
the subjunctive, so perhaps the meaning 'thus love commands me* is 


But were she able, thus she would revenge 65 

Thy treacheries on thee, ignoble prince : Stab him. 

And on herself she would be thus revenged. Stab herself. 

King. Well said, old Marshal, this was bravely done ! 
Hier. But Bel-imperia plays Perseda well. 
Vice. I Were this in earnest, Bel-imperia, 70 

/You would bcj>etter to my son than so. 
King. But now what follows for Hieronimo ? 
Hier. Marry, this follows for Hieronimo : 

Here break we off our sundry languages 

And thus conclude I in our vulgar tongue. 75 

Haply you think, but bootless are your thoughts, 

That this is fabulously counterfeit, 

And that we do as all tragedians do : 

To die today, for fashioning our scene, 

The death of Ajax, or some Roman peer, 80 

And in a minute starting up again, 

Revive to please tomorrow's audience. 

No, princes, know I am Hieronimo, 

The hopeless father of a hapless son, 

Whose tongue is tun'd to tell his latest tale, 85 

Not to excuse gross errors in the play. 

I see your looks urge instance of these words, 

Behold the reason urging me to this : Shows his dead son. 

68. Well said, old] Well said olde 1592; Well said! old Sclnck. 79. for 
fashioning our scene,] for (fashioning our scene) 1592. 

68. Well said] well done; cf. Titus Andronicus, IV. iii. 63. Some edd. take 
the phrase in its modern sense, and punctuate the line to make it refer to 
Bel-imperia's speech; it is obviously part of the King's congratulations to 

7 7. fabulously] fictitiously. 

84.] Cf.Jew of Malta } 1. 557, 'the hopelesse daughter of a haplesse lew* 

87. instance] evidence, a concrete example. 

88.] With this revelation, compare Chcttle's Hoffman (1602?), in the 
first lines of which the revenger 'strikes ope a curtaine where appeares a 
body', and Marston's Antonio's Revenge (1599?), 1. 360, 'The Curtain's 
drawne, and the bodie of Feliche, stabd thick with wounds, appeares hung 


See here my show, look on this spectacle : 

Here lay my hope, and here my hope hath end : 90 

Here lay my heart, and here my heart was slain : 

Here lay my treasure, here my treasure lost : 

Here lay my bliss, and here my bliss bereft : 

But hope, heart, treasure, joy and bliss, 

All fled, faiPd, died, yea, all decay' d with this. 95 

From forth these wounds came breath that gave me life, 

They murder 'd me that made these fatal marks. 

The cause was love, whence grew this mortal hate, 

The hate, Lorenzo and young Balthazar, 

The love, my son to Bel-imperia. 100 

But night, the coverer ofaccursed crimes, 

Withpitchy silence hush'd these traitors' harms 

And lent them leave, for they ha cTsofted leisure" 

To take advantage in my garden plot 

Upon my son, my dear Horatio : 1 05 

There merciless they butcher'd up my boy, 

In black dark night, to pale dim cruel death. 

He shrieks, I heard, and yet methinks I hear, 

His dismal outcry echo in the air : 

With soonest speed I hasted to the noise, no 

Where hanging on a tree I found my son, 

Through-girt with wounds, and slaughter'd as you see. 

And griev'd I, think you, at this spectacle ? 

Speak, Portuguese, whose loss resembles mine: 

If thou canst weep upon thy Balthazar, 115 

'Tis like I wail'd for my Horatio. 

And you, my lord, whose reconciled son 

March'd in a net, and thought himself unseen, 

103. sorted] selected, sought out. 

112. Through-gin] pierced. 'Girt is here the past part, of "gird" = 
"strike", which is to be distinguished from "gird" "to encircle" * (Boas). 

1 1 8. March'd in a net] a common phrase for palpable deceit and pretence 
(Tilley Ni3o), though 'dance in a net* is the usual form; e.g. Greene, *a 
nette wherein to daunce, and diuers shadowes to colour my knaueries 
withall* (quoted in Mann's Deloney, p. 518). Cf. Nashe, in, 365. 


And rated me for brainsick lunacy, 

With 'God amend that mad Hieronimo !' / 120 

How can you brook our play's catastrophe ? 

And here behold this bloody handkercher, 

Which at Horatio's death I weeping dipp'd 

Within the river of his bleeding wounds : 

It as propitious, see, I have reserv'd, 125 

And never hath it left my bloody heart, 

Soliciting remembrance of my vow 

With these, Ojhese accursed murderers, 

Which now perform'd, my heart is satisfied. 

And to this end the bashaw I became 130 

That might revenge me on Lorenzo's life, 

Who therefore was appointed to the part 

And was to represent the* knight of Rhodes, 

That I might kill him more conveniently. 

So, Viceroy, was this Balthazar, thy son, * 135 

That Soliman which Bel-imperia 

In person of Perseda murdered : 

Solely appointed to that tragic part, 

That she might slay him that offended her. 

Poor Bel-imperia miss'd her part in this, 140 

For though the story saith she should have died, 

Yet I of kindness, and of care to her, 

Did otherwise determine of her end : 

But love of him whom they did hate too much 

Did urge her resolution to be such. 145 

And princes, now behold Hieronimo, 

Author and actor in this tragedy. 

Bearing his latest fortune in his fist : 

And will as resolute conclude his part 

As any of the actors gone before. 1 50 

And gentles, thus I end my play : 

Urge no more words, I have no more to say. 

He runs to hang himself. 

120. With . . . Hieronimo!'] With God amend that mad Hieronimo 1592; 
Which God amend that made Hieronimo 1594. 


J -- "" ' 

,-V Wtor. 

. O hearken, Viceroy ! Hold, Hieronimo ! 

Brother, my nephew and thy son are slain ! 
Vice. We are betray'd ! My Balthazar is slain ! 155 

Break ope the doors, run, save Hieronimo ! 

[They break in, and hold HIERONIMO.] 

Hieronimo, do but inform the king of these events, 

Upon mine honour thou shalt have no harm. 
Hier. Viceroy, I will not trust thee with my life, 

Which I this day have offer 'd to my son : 160 

Accursed wretch, 

Why stayest thou him that was resolv'd to die ? 
King. Speak, traitor : damned, bloody murderer, speak ! 

For now I have thee I will make thee speak : 

Why hast thou done this undeserving deed ? 165 

Vice. Why hast thou murdered my Balthazar ? 
Cast. Why hast thou butcher'd both my children thus ? 
Hier. O good words ! [Fifth Addition; see p. 133] 

As dear to me was my Horatio 

As yours, or yours, or yours, my lord, to you. 170 

My guiltless son was by Lorenzo slain, 

And by Lorenzo and that Balthazar 

Am I at last revenged thoroughly, 

Upon whbse~souls maylieavens be yet aveng'd 

153. Hold, Hieronimo!] holde HieroninwTT^gs. 156.1. [They . . . 
HIERONIMO.]] 1602; not in 1592. 161. Accursed wretch,] begins I. 162 in 
1592. 1 68. O good words !] begins I. 169 in 1592. 

153. Hold, Hieronimo!] It is a question whether the King tells his train to 
hold Hieronimo, or tells Hieronimo to 'hold', i.e., stop. I prefer the latter 

156.] Castile has obeyed Hieronimo (see iv. iii. 12-13) an d they are 
locked in. The revenger locks his victims in, in Chapman's Revenge of 
Bussy D'Ambois. 

156.1.] I insert 1602'$ direction, though at the risk of confusing the 
original staging with that of a decade or more later. I take it that attendants 
or guards 'break in* from off-stage and run to hold Hieronimo, who is 
certainly guarded while the King addresses him. 

165-7, 182.] Hieronimo has told everything, yet the King, etc. are 
apparently still in ignorance and to their questions Hieronimo returns 
nothing but an inexplicable refusal to speak. This extraordinary incon- 
sistency is discussed in the Introduction, pp. xxxiv-xxxvi. 


With greater far than these afflictions. 1 75 

Cast. But who were thy confederates in this ? 
Vice. That was thy daughter Bel-imperia, 

For by her hand my Balthazar was slain : 

I saw her stab him. 

King. Why speak'st thou not ? 

Hier. What lesser liberty can kings afford 1 80 

Than harmless silence ? then afford it me : 

Sufficeth I may not, nor I will not tell thee. 
King. Fetch forth the tortures. 

Traitor as thou art, I'll make thee tell. 
Hier. Indeed, 

Thou may'st torment me, as his wretched son 185 

Hath done in murdering my Horatio, 

But never shalt thou force me to reveal 

The thing which I have vow'd inviolate : * 

And therefore, in despite of all thy threats, 

Pleas 'd with their deaths, and eas'd with their revenge, 190 

First take my tongue, and afterwards my heart. 

[He bites out his tongtie.] 
King. O monstrous resolution of a wretch ! 

See, Viceroy, he hath bitten forth his tongue 

Rather than to reveal what we requir'd. 

Cast. Yet can he write. 195 

King. And if in this he satisfy us not, 

We will devise th' extremest kind of death 

That ever was invented for a wretch. 

Then he makes signs for a knife to mend his pen. 
Cast. Oh, he would have a knife to mend his pen. 
Vice. Here, and advise thee that thou write the troth. 200 

King. Look to my brother ! save Hieronimo. 

He with a knife stabs the DUKE and himself. 

What age hath ever heard such monstrous deeds ? 

My brother, and the whole succeeding hope 

That Spam expected after my decease ! 

184-5. Indeed, / Thou . . . son] Indeed . . . Sonne 75.92. 191.1. [He 
. . . tongue.]] 1602; not in 1592. 201. King.] Boas; not in 1592. 


Go bear his body hence, that we may mourn 205 

The loss of our beloved brother's death, 
That he may be entomb'd whate'er befall : 
I am the next, the nearest, last of all. 
Vice. And thou, Don Pedro, do the like for us, 

Take up our hapless son, untimely slain : 210 

Set me with him, and he with woeful me, 

Upon the mainmast of a ship unmann'd, 

And let the wind and tide haul me along 

To Scylla's barking and untamed gulf, 

Or to the loathsome pool of AcherQjv 215 

To weep my want for my sweet Balthazar : 

Spain hath no refuge for a Portingale. 

The trumpets sound a dead march, the KING of Spain mourning 

after his brother's body, and the KING of Portingale bearing the 

body of his son. 

[iv. v] 

Ghost [of ANDREA] and REVENGE. 

Andrea.\Ay, now my hopes have end in their effects^ . 
When blood and sorrowjinish my desires : y 
Horatio murdered in hislather's bower, 
Vild Ssrhfirine by Pgdringano slain, 

False Pedringano hang'd by quaint device, 5 

Fair Isabella by herself misdone, 
Prince Balthazar by Bel-imperia stabb'd, 

213. haul] hall 1592; hale 75,94. 2I 4- gulf] '&?.?/ greefe 7592. 

iv. v. o.i. Ghost . . . REVENGE] Enter Ghoast and Reuenge. 1592. i. 
Andrea.} Ghoast. 1592 (and throughout). 

213. haul] Normal spelling in the i6th century was hall as in 1592, the 
word is a variant form oUiale, and 759/5 emendation may be intended only 
as a regularizing of the spelling; but 7592 apparently makes a distinction 
between hall and hale (iv. v. 27) and it should be preserved; it is quite 
possible that haul was a nautical form for Kyd. 

217.2-3. bearing the body of his son] The direction is inconsistent with 
the Viceroy's instruction to Don Pedro in 11. 209-10, 


The Duke of Castile and his wicked son 

Both done to death by old Hieronimo, 

My Bel-imperia fall'n as Dido fell, 10 

And good Hieronimo slain by himself: 

Ay, these were spectacles to please my soul. 

Now will I beg at lovely Proserpine, 

That by the virtue of her princely doom 

I may consort my friends in pleasing sort, 1 5 

And on my foes work just and sharp revenge. 

I'll lead my friend Horatio through those fields 

Where never-dying wars are still inur'd : 

I'll lead fair Isabellato that train 

Where pity weeps but never feeleth pain : 20 

, I'll lead my Bel-imperia to those joys 

That vestal virgins and fair queens possess : 

I'll lead HieronirwD where Orpheus plays, 

Adding sweet pleasure to eternal days. * 

But say, Revenge, for thou must help or none, 25 

Against the rest how shall my hate be shown ? 
Revenge. This hand shall hale them down to deepest hell, 

Where none but furies, bugs and tortures dwell. 
Andrea. Then, sweet Revenge, do this at my request, 

Let me be judge, and doom them to unrest. 30 

Let loose poor Tityus from the vulture's gripe, 

And let Don Cyprian supply his room : 

Place Don Lorenzo on Ixion's wheel, 

And let the lover's endless pains surcease 

(Juno forgets old wrath and grants him ease) : 35 

Hang Balthazar about Chimaera's neck, 

And let him there bewail his bloody love, 

1 8. inur'd] practised, carried on (O.E.D., 3). 

19. train] way of life. A rather unusual usage: cf. O.E.D., sb. 1 , 12a. 
28. bugs] bugbears, horrifying objects. 

32.] Andrea, we recall, had reason to dislike Castile and wish him ill, as 
Hieronimo had not. 

34. the lover] Ixion had tried to seduce Juno. 
surcease] cease. 


Repining at our joys that are above : 
Let Serberine go roll the fatal stone. 

And take from Sisyphus his endless moan : 40 

False Pedringano, for his treachery, 
Let him be dragg'd through boiling Acheron, 
And there live, dying still in endless flames, 
Blaspheming gods and all their holy names. 
Revenge. Then haste we down to meet thy friends and foes, 45 
To place thy friends in ease, the rest in woes : 
For here though death hath end their misery, 
Pll there begin their endlessjragedy. Exeunt. 


Additional passages from the edition of 1602 


(Between n. v. 45 and 46. See p. 43) 

[Isab.] For outrage fits our cursed wretchedness. 

Ay me, Hieronimo, sweet husband speak. 
Hier. He supp'd with us tonight, frolic and merry. 

And said he would go visit Balthazar 

At the duke's palace : there the prince doth lodge. 

He had no custom to stay out so late, 5 

He may be in his chamber, some go see. 

Roderigo, ho ! 

Enter PEDRO and JAQUES. 

Isab. Ay me, he raves : sweet Hieronimo ! 
Hier. True, all Spain takes note of it. 

Besides, he is so generally belov'd, 10 

His Majesty the other day did grace him 

With waiting on his cup : these be favours 

Which do assure he cannot be short-liv'd. 
Isab. Sweet Hieronimo ! 
Hier. I wonder how this fellow got his clothes : 1 5 

Sirrah, sirrah, I'll know the truth of all : 

Jaques, run to the Duke of Castile's presently, 

And bid my son Horatio to come home. 

7. Roderigo, ho!] ends I. 6 in 1602. 13. he] This ed.; me 1602; me he 
1603; me that he iGi8. 

13. assure] make certain, guarantee, ensure; cf. O E.D., 5; Schmidt, 2. 
1603'$ emendation is generally accepted, but the line is made much 
stronger if we assume that me was a careless mistake for he. 



I and his mother have had strange dreams tonight. 

Do ye hear me, sir ? 
Jaques. Ay, sir. 

Hier. Well sir, begone. 20 

Pedro, come hither : knowest thou who this is ? 
Fed. Too well, sir. 
Hier. Too well, who ? who is it ? Peace, Isabella : 

Nay, blush not, man. 

Ped. It is my lord Horatio. 

Hier. Ha, ha ! Saint James, but this doth make me laugh, 25 

That there are more deluded than myself. 
Ped. Deluded? 
Hier. Ay, I would have sworn myself within this hour 

That this had been my son Horatio, 

His garments are so like : Ha ! 30 

Are they not great persuasions ? 
Isab. O would to God it were not so ! 
Hier. Were not, Isabella ? dost thou dream it is ? 

Can thy soft bosom entertain a thought 

That such a black deed of mischief should be done 35 

On one so pure and spotless as our son ? 

Away, I am ashamed. 
Isab. Dear Hieronimo, 

Cast a more serious eye upon thy grief: 

Weak apprehension gives but weak belief. 
Hier. It was a man, sure, that was hang'd up here, 40 

A youth, as I remember : I cut him down. 

If it should prove my son now after all 

Say you ? say you ? Light ! lend me a taper, 

Let me look again. O God ! 

Confusion, mischief, torment, death and hell, 45 

Drop all your stings at once in my cold bosom, 

That now is stiff with horror : kill me quickly: 

Be gracious to me, thou infective night, 

20-4.] as prose in 1 6oi>. 30-1 .] one line in 1 602. 36. pure] 1 615; poore 
1602. 37. Dear Hieronimo,] begins /. 38 in 1602. 44. O God!] 
begins I. 4.5 in 1602. 



And drop this deed of murder down on me : 

Gird in my waste of grief with thy large darkness, 50 

And let me not survive to see the light 

May put me in the mind I had a son. 
hob. O sweet Horatio, O my dearest son ! 
Hier. How strangely had I lost my way to grief. 

Sweet lovely rose, ill-pluck' d before thy time, 


(Replacing Hieronimo's speech, in. ii. 65-6. See p. 54) 

Lor. Why so, Hieronitno ? use me. 

Hier. Who, you, my lord ? 

I reserve your favour for a greater honour : 

This is a very toy, my lord, a toy. 
Lor. All's one, Hieronimo, acquaint me with it. 
Hier. I' faith, my lord, it is an idle thing, 5 

I must confess : I ha' been too slack, too tardy, 

Too remiss unto your honour. 

Lor. How now, Hieronimo ? 

Hier. In troth, my lord, it is a thing of nothing, 

The murder of a son, or so : 

A thing of nothing, my lord. 10 

Lor. Why then, farewell. 

51. survive] Dodsley; suruiue, 1602. 


5. it is] Schick; tis 1602. 5-7. F faith . . . thing, / 1 must . . . tardy, / Too 
. . . Hieronimo ?] Manly; as prose 1602. 



(Between m. xi. i and 2. See p. 77) 

/ . By your leave, sir. 

Hier. 'Tis neither as you think, nor as you think. 

Nor as you think : you're wide all : 

These slippers are not mine, they were my son Horatio's. 

My son ! and what's a son ? A thing begot 

Within a pair of minutes, thereabout : 5 

A lump bred up in darkness, and doth serve 

To ballace these light creatures we call women : 

And at nine moneths' end, creeps forth to light. 

What is there yet in a son 

To make a father dote, rave or run mad ? 10 

Being born, it pouts, cries and breeds teeth. 

What is there yet in a son ? He must be fed, 

Be taught to go, and speak. Ay, or yet ? 

Why might not a man love a calf as well ? 

Or melt in passion o'er a frisking kid 1 5 

As for a son ? Methinks a young bacon 

Or a fine little smooth horse-colt 

Should move a man as much as doth a son : 

For one of these in very little time 

Will grow to some good use, whereas a son, 20 

The more he grows in stature and in years, 

The more unsquar'd, unbevell'd, he appears, 

Reckons his parents among the rank of fools, 

Strikes care upon their heads with his mad riots, 

4. A thing begot] begins /. 5 in 1602. 7. ballace] 1602; ballance 1618. 
13. speak. Ay, or yet?] Manly; speake I, or yet. 1602; speak. Ay or yet 

7. ballace] ballast. A variant form, partly through confusion with 
balance, and partly through taking ballast = ballass-ed (O.E.D.). 

13. Ay 9 or yet ?] The phrase is so obviously a shortened repetition of the 
question 'What is there yet in a son ?', that it is hard to understand why 
some edd. have followed Schick in taking it as the beginning of the succeed- 
ing sentence. 


Makes them look old before they meet with age : 25 

This is a son: 

And what a loss were this, consider'd truly ? 
Oh, but my Horatio 

Grew out of reach of these insatiate humours : 
He lov'd his loving parents, 30 

He was my comfort, and his mother's joy, 
The very arm that did hold up our house : 
Our hopes were stored up in him, 
None but a damned murderer could hate him. 
He had not seen the back of nineteen year, 35 

When his strong arm unhors'd the proud Prince Balthazar, 
And his great mind, too full of honour, 
Took him unto mercy, 
That valiant but ignoble Portingale. 

U Well, heaven is heaven still, , 40 

And there is Nemesis and Furies, 
And things call'd whips, ] 
And they sometimes do meet with murderers : 
They do not always scape, that's some comfort. 
Ay, ay, ay, and then time steals on : 45 

And steals, and steals, till violence leaps forth 
Like thunder wrapp'd in a ball of fire, 
And so doth bring confusion to them all. 
Good leave have you, nay, I pray you go, 

26-30. This . . . son : / And . . . truly ? / Oh, . . . Horatio / Grew . . . 
humours : / He . . . parents,] Boas; This . . . truly. / O . . . of these / Insatiate 
. . . parents, 1602. 38. unto] Manly; vs to 1602. 38-9.] one line 1602. 
45-7. Ay . . . on : / And . . . forth / Like . . . fire,] Schick; I, ... steales, and 
steales / Till . . . thunder / Wrapt . . . fire, 1602. 

42. things caWd whips] The phrase was probably taken from 2 Henry VI, 
II. i. 137: 'Have you not beadles in your town, and things called whips ?' 
Armin, Nest of Ninnies, 1608, p. 55, has, 'Ther are, as Hamlet saies, things 
cald whips in store.' It is easier to believe that Armin meant Hieronimo 
than that the phrase came from the old Hamlet', see Duthie, 'Bad* Quarto 
of Hamlet* p. 77. There is a parallel in Marston ; see Appendix E. 



(Between in. xii and in. xiii, with final stage-direction replacing 
m. xiii. o.i. Seep. 83) 

Enter JAQUES and PEDRO. 

Jaq. I wonder Pedro, why our master thus 

At midnight sends us with our torches' light, 

When man and bird and beast are all at rest, 

Save those that watch for rape and bloody murder ? 
Ped. O Jaques, know thou that our master's mind 5 

Is much distraught since his Horatio died, 

And, now his aged years should sleep in rest, 

His heart in quiet, like a desperate man, 

Grows lunatic and childish for his son: 

Sometimes, as he doth at his table sit, 10 

He speaks as if Horatio stood by him, 

Then starting in a rage, falls on the earth, 

Cries out, 'Horatio ! Where is my Horatio ?' 

So that with extreme grief and cutting sorrow, 

There is not left in him one inch of man : 1 5 

See where he comes. 


Hier. I pry through every crevice of each wall, 

Look on each tree, and search through every brake, 

Beat at the bushes, stamp our grandam earth, 

Dive in the water, and stare up to heaven, 20 

Yet cannot I behold my son Horatio. 

How now ? Who's there ? Sprites ? sprites ? 

17. crevice] 1610; creuie 1602. 22. Sprites? sprites?] sprits, sprits? 

1 8. brake] thicket. 

22. Sprites?] As i6os j s sprits is only a spelling variant of the mono- 
syllabic 'spirits', it matters little whether we read spirits or sprites. But the 
latter perhaps better indicates to us the meaning of ghost or demon. 


Fed. We are your servants that attend you, sir. 

Hier. What make you with your torches in the dark ? 

Fed. You bid us light them, and attend you here. 25 

Hier. No, no, you are deceived : not I, you are deceived : 
Was I so mad to bid you light your torches now ? 
Light me your torches at the mid of noon, 
Whenas the sun-god rides in all his glory : 
Light me your torches then. 

Fed. Then we burn daylight. 30 

Hier. Let it be burnt : night is a murderous slut 
That would not have her treasons to be seen, 
And yonder pale-fac'd Hecate there, the moon, 
Doth give consent to that is done in darkness, 
And all those stars that gaze upon her face 35 

Are aglets on her sleeve, pins on her train : 
And those that should be powerful and djvine, 
Do sleep in darkness when they most should shine. 

Fed. Provoke them not, fair sir, with tempting words : 

The heavens are gracious, and your miseries 40 

And sorrow makes you speak you know not what. 

Hier. Villain, thou liest, and thou doest naught 
But tell me I am mad : thou liest, I am not mad. 
I know thee to be Pedro, and he Jaques. 
I'll prove it to thee, and were I mad, how could I ? 45 

Where was she that same night when my Horatio 

33. Hecate] Heccat 1623; Hce-cat 1602. 36. aglets] agglots 1610; aggots 
1602. 41. And sorrow] ends 1. 40 in 1602. 44. Jaques.] Iaques y 1602. 

30. burn daylight] The phrase was commonly used to mean wasting time ; 

33. Hecate] two syllables. There is, unfortunately, no chance that 1602'$ 
Hee-cat is the correct reading: the personal pronouns in 11. 35-6 are femi- 

36. aglets] spangles or metallic ornaments ; properly, the ornamental tags 
of laces. The form agglot is noted in O.E.D. 

45. prove it] i.e., that the moon and the stars connived at the murder of 


Was murder'd ? She should have shone : search thou the 

Had the moon shone, in my boy's face there was a kind of 


That I know, nay, I do know, had the murderer seen him, 
His weapon would have fall'n and cut the earth, 50 

Had he been fram'd of naught but blood and death. 
Alack, when mischief doth it knows not what, 
What shall we say to mischief? 


Isab. Dear Hieronimo, come in a-doors : 

seek not means so to increase thy sorrow. 55 
Hier. Indeed, Isabella, we do nothing here, 

1 do not cry, ask Pedro and ask Jaques, 

Not I indeed, we are very merry, very merry. 

Isab. How ? be merry here, be merry here ? 

Is not this the place, and this the very tree, 60 

Where my Horatio died, where he was murder'd ? 

Hier. Was do not say what : let her weep it out. 
This was the tree, I set it of a kernel, 
And when our hot Spain could not let it grow, 
But that the infant and the human sap 65 

Began to wither, duly twice a morning 
Would I be sprinkling it with fountain water. 
At last it grew, and grew, and bore and bore, 
Till at the length 

It grew a gallows, and did bear our son. 70 

It bore thy fruit and mine : O wicked, wicked plant. 

One knocks within at the door. 
See who knock there. 

47. Was murder'd ?] ends I. 46 in 1602. 48-9. face . . . That I know,] face 
(there was a kind of grace That I know) 1602. 61, died] 1603; hied 
1602. 69. Till . . . length] begins I. 70 in 1602. 72. knock] 1602; 
knocks 1603. 


Ped. It is a painter, sir. 

Hier. Bid him come in, and paint some comfort. 

For surely there's none lives but painted comfort: 

Let him come in. One knows not what may chance, 75 

God's will that I should set this tree But even so 

Masters ungrateful servants rear from naught, 

And then they hate them that did bring them up. 

Enter the Painter. 

Paint. God bless you, sir. 

Hier. Wherefore ? Why, thou scornful villain, 80 

How, where, or by what means should I be bless'd ? 
Isab. What wouldst thou have, good fellow ? 
Paint. Justice, madam. 
Hier. O ambitious beggar, wouldst thou have that 

That lives not in the world ? ^ 85 

Why all the undelved mines cannot buy 

An ounce of justice, 'tis a jewel so inestimable: 

I tell thee, 

God hath engross'd all justice in his hands, 

And there is none, but what conies from him. 90 

Paint. O then I see 

That God must right me for my murder'd son. 
Hier. How, was thy son murdered ? 
Paint. Ay, sir : no man did hold a son so dear. 
Hier. What, not as thine ? That's a lie 95 

As massy as the earth : I had a son, 

75. in.] Manly; in, 1602. 76. God's will that] Gods will, that 1602. 
But even so] begins 1. 77 in 1602. 88. I tell thee,] begins I. 89 in 1602. 
91. O then I see] begins L 92 in 1602. 

76-7.] It is not easy to perceive from the punctuation of 1602 what the 
meaning is. It is possible that God's will is an imprecation and that But even 
so is self-contained ; we should then paraphrase : 'God, that I should set this 
tree! but let things be as they are.' The alternative reading, preferred 
here, leaves much to be understood, i.e., 'One knows not what may chance : 
it must have been God's will that I should set this tree, [can what has now 
happened be God's will also ?]' And with But even so he attempts to console 
himself with an analogy between the tree and ungrateful servants. 


Whose least unvalued hair did weigh 

A thousand of thy sons : and he was murder'd. 

Paint. Alas, sir, I had no more but he. 

Hier. Nor I, nor I : but this same one of mine 100 

Was worth a legion : but all is one. 
Pedro, Jaques, go in a-doors, Isabella go, 
And this good fellow here and I 
Will range this hideous orchard up and down, 
Like to two lions rea ved of their young. 1 05 

Go in a-doors, I say. Exeunt [ISABELLA, PEDRO, JAQUES]. 

The Painter and he sits down. 

Come, let's talk wisely now. Was thy son murdered ? 

Paint. Ay, sir. 

Hier. So was mine. How dost take it ? Art thou not some- 
times mad ? Is there no tricks that comes before thine no 

Paint. O Lord, yes sir. 

Hier. Art a painter ? Canst paint me a tear, or a wound, a 
groan, or a sigh ? canst paint me such a tree as this ? 

Paint. Sir, I am sure you have heard of my painting, my 115 
name's Bazardo. 

Hier. Bazardo ! afore God, an excellent fellow ! Look you sir, 
do you see, Pd have you paint me in my gallery, in your 
oil colours matted, and draw me five years younger than 
I am do you see, sir, let five years go, let them go like 120 
the marshal of Spain my wife Isabella standing by me, 
with a speaking look to my son Horatio, which should 

1 1 8. me in my] Lamb; me my 1602; me for my S chick. 

105. reaved] forcibly deprived, robbed (O.E.D., v. 1 , 3). The alternative 
past form 'reft' would be more familiar. 

107.] 1602 continues to print as verse up to the end of the scene, although 
in Hieronimo's speeches (11. 139-55) tne 'lines' can be whole sentences in 
length. Lineation is not recorded in the textual notes. 

1 19. matted] made dull or matt. O.E.D.^ s.v. mat, v.*, cites this passage as 
the earliest use of the word by 125 years, and 'matt' itself is very rare, even 
in the iyth century. Is it possible that Boas was right in preferring 'set in a 
mat or mount' ? 


intend to this or some such like purpose : 'God bless thee, 
my sweet son/ and my hand leaning upon his head, thus 
sir, do you see ? May it be done ? 125 

Paint. Very well, sir. 

Hier. Nay, I pray mark me, sir. Then sir, would I have you 
paint me this tree, this very tree. Canst paint a doleful 

Paint. Seemingly, sir. 130 

Hier. Nay, it should cry: but all is one. Well sir, paint me a 
youth, run through and through with villains' swords, 
hanging upon this tree. Canst thou draw a murderer ? 

Paint. I'll warrant you, sir: I have the pattern of the most 

notorious villains that ever lived in all Spain. 135 

Hier. O let them be worse, worse : stretch thine art, and let 
their beards be of Judas his own colour, and let their eye- 
brows jutty over : in any case observe that. Then sir, after 
some violent noise, bring me forth in my shirt, and my 
gown under mine arm, with my torch in my hand, and 140 
my sword reared up thus : and with these words : 

What noise is this ? who calls Hieronimo ? 
May it be done ? 

Paint. Yea, sir. 

Hier. Well sir, then bring me forth, bring me through alley 145 
and alley, still with a distracted countenance going 
along, and let my hair heave up my night-cap. Let the 
clouds scowl, make the moon dark, the stars extinct, the 
winds blowing, the bells tolling, the owl shrieking, the 
toads croaking, the minutes jarring, and the clock strik- 150 
ing twelve. And then at last, sir, starting, behold a man 
hanging, and tottering and tottering, as you know the 
wind will weave a man, and I with a trice to cut him down. 

145. Hier.] not in 1602. 149. owl] 1602; owls 1623. 150. jarring] 

iering 1602. 153. weave] 1602; wave 1603. 

r 37 of Judas his own colour] red. 

138. jutty] project; cf. Henry V, III. i. 13. 

ISO. jarring] ticking; O.E.D., 2. 

153. weave] sway from side to side. Cf. O.E.D., u. 1 , I, which does 


And looking upon him by the advantage of my torch, 
find it to be my son Horatio. There you may show a pas- 1 55 
sion, there you may show a passion. Draw me like old 
Priam of Troy, crying, 'The house is a-fire, the house is 
a-fire, as the torch over my head.' Make me curse, make 
me rave, make me cry, make me mad, make me well 
again, make me curse hell, invocate heaven, and in the 160 
end, leave me in a trance and so forth. 

Paint. And is this the end ? 

Hier. O no, there is no end: the end is death and madness. 
As I am never better than when I am mad, then me- 
thinks I am a brave fellow, then I do wonders : but reason 165 
abuseth me, and there's the torment, there's the hell. At 
the last, sir, bring me to one of the murderers : were he as 
strong as Hector, thus would I tear and drag him up and 

He beats the Painter in, then comes out again with a book 
in his hand. 


(Replacing iv. iv. 168-90, but incorporating lines 176-9 and 
168-75. Seep. 117) 

Cast. Why hast thou butchered both my children thus ? 

Hier. But are you sure they are dead ? 

Cast. Ay, slave, too sure. 

Hier. What, and yours too ? 

Vice. Ay, all are dead, not one of them survive. 

Hier. Nay, then I care not, come, and we shall be friends : 
Let us lay our heads together, 
See here's a goodly noose will hold them all. 

155. show] Dodsley; not in 1602. 

not give this type of transitive use. Edd. have preferred 1603'$ wave, 
with a trice] instantly; the same as 'in a trice*. 


Vice. O damned devil, how secure he is. 
Hier. Secure ? why dost thou wonder at it ? 

I tell thee Viceroy, this day I have seen revenge, 

And in that sight am grown a prouder monarch 10 

That ever sat under the crown of Spain : 

Had I as many lives as there be stars, 

As many heavens to go to as those lives, 

I'd give them all, ay, and my soul to boot, 

But I would see thee ride in this red pool. 1 5 

Cast. Speak, who were thy confederates in this ? 
Vice. That was thy daughter Bel-Imperia, 

For by her hand my Balthazar was slain : 

I saw her stab him. 
Hier. O good words ! 

As dear to me was my Horatio, 20 

As yours, or yours, or yours, my lord, to you. 

My guiltless son was by Lorenzo slain, 

And by Lorenzo and that Balthazar 

Am I at last revenged thoroughly, 

Upon whose souls may heavens be yet reveng'd 25 

With greater far than these afflictions. 

Methinks since I grew inward with revenge, 

I cannot look with scorn enough on death. 
King. What, dost thou mock us, slave ? Bring tortures forth ! 
Hier. Do, do, do, and meantime I'll torture you. 30 

You had a son, as I take it : and your son 

Should ha' been married to your daughter: ha, was 't not so ? 

You had a son too, he was my liege's nephew; 

He was proud and politic, had he liv'd, 

He might ha' come to wear the crown of Spain : 35 

I think 'twas so : 'twas I that killed him, 

9. revenge] Dodsley; reueng'd 1602. 19. O good words!] begins I. 20 in 
1602. 35. ha'] a 1602. 

j. secure] arrogantly self-confident. 

12-14.] From Faustus, 11. 337-8: 'Had I as many soulcs as there be 
starres, Ide giue them al for Mephastophilis.' 

31-3.] Hieronimo turns from the Viceroy to Castile. 


Look you, this same hand, 'twas it that stabb'd 

His heart do you see this hand ? 

For one Horatio, if you ever knew him, 

A youth, one that they hang'd up in his father's garden, 40 

One that did force your valiant son to yield, 

While your more valiant son did take him prisoner. 
Vice. Be deaf my senses, I can hear no more. 
King. Fall heaven, and cover us with thy sad ruins. 
Cast. Roll all the world within thy pitchy cloud. 45 

Hier. Now do I applaud what I have acted. 
Nunc iners cadat mantis. 

Now to express the rupture of my part, 

First take my tongue, and afterward my heart. 

He bites out his tongue. 

47. iners cadat] Schick; mers cada 1602. 
47.] 'Now let my hand fall idle!' 


The Problem of Henslowe's Entries 

(See p. xxi) 

The relevant titles given by Henslowe in his records of performances 
at the Rose in the spring and early summer of 1592 are as follows (in 
chronological order of appearance and with the number of times each 
title is found) : 

spanes comodye donne oracoe I 

the comodey of doneoracio I 

Jeronymo [various spellings] 13 

doneoracio I 

the comodey of Jeronymo 3 

The comodey Jeronymo I 

After this first season, only 'Jeronimo' is found. 

The variety of titles is no evidence that two plays existed : all the 
forms may be variants for the one play. Henslowe was interested in 
his receipts and not in whether a play was a tragedy or a comedy; if 
he could call Titus Andronicus 'Titus and ondronicus', he could cer- 
tainly call * doneoracio' the hero of The Spanish Tragedy (and it is sig- 
nificant that the entry in the Stationers' Register reads 'The Spanish 
Tragedy of Don Horatio and Bel-imperia' seep.xxviii).Itisnotgood 
argument to say that 'Jeronimo' is The Spanish Tragedy and that all 
other titles refer to some lost fore-piece or first part. One could just as 
well say that there were three plays, The Comedy of Don Horatio , The 
Comedy of Jeronimo, and Jeronimo or The Spanish Tragedy. But it is 
not nomenclature alone that has led to the belief that two plays are 
involved. There is also the strange fact that on three separate occa- 
sions, a performance of 'Jeronimo' was preceded by a performance on 
the day before of the play with one of the alternative titles. 1 

March 13 comodey of doneoracio 
March 14 Jeronymo 

1 The General Editor has called my attention to a performance of Jer- 
onimo on Monday, April 24, which was preceded by 'the comodey Jer- 
onymo* on the Saturday before. 



March 30 doneoracio 
March 31 Jeronymo 

May 21 comodey of Jeronymo 

May 22 Jeronymo 

Greg points out (Henslowe's Diary, n, 154) that there is 'hardly any 
instance of a play being repeated twice running* in Hcnslowe's 
records, but that there are examples of the first and second parts of 
two-part plays being performed on successive days. Discussion of 
the problem was confused in the past by the identification of Hens- 
lowe's comedy with The First Part of Ieronimo y published in 1605. 
But this play is clearly written after The Spanish Tragedy and based 
on it, and almost certainly intended as a burlesque. The problem as 
it now stands is. Which is more likely, that The Spanish Tragedy is a 
sequel to a now-lost play, or that the players broke their usual custom 
and occasionally played The Spanish Tragedy twice on consecutive 
days ? I cannot find in The Spanish Tragedy anything to prove that it 
is a sequel; the many mentions of past events no more indicate a first 
part than similar mentions in Cymbeline or Hamlet indicate that those 
plays are the second halves of two-part wholes.* The three occasions 
of performances on successive days are very strange, and one cannot 
dismiss the theory of a lost first part as untenable; yet it is possible to 
be sceptical and to demand more evidence than Henslowe provides. 
(It could, of course, be argued that the 'forepiece' was written after 
The Spanish Tragedy, because of the play's success, and that by 1592 
it was occasionally played as a 'first part'.) But the problem of Hens- 
lowe's entries does not affect the inference that The Spanish Tragedy 
was being played at the Rose in early 1592. 


The Kid in JEsop 

(See p. xxiii) 

It is now accepted that Nashe was thinking of the fable of the Kid in 
Spenser's Shepheardes Calender (the May eclogue, 11. 274-7) an d not 
Aesop. McKerrow believes that Nashe is simply bringing in the Kid 
as a beast-fable analogy without the further purpose of referring to 
Thomas Kyd; though it is true that Kyd 'intermeddled with Italian 
translations' in translating Tasso's Padre di Famiglia in 1588, he was 
hardly the only translator from Italian. But Duthie is impressed by 
Oesterberg's view (see R.E.S.y xviii (1942), 389-91) that Nashe has 
clumsily twisted Spenser's fable in order to bring in an allusion to 
Kyd. Nashe says that his dramatists have exhausted their source, 
Seneca, 'which makes his famished followers to imitate the Kid in 
JEsop, who, enamoured with the Foxes newf angles, forsooke all hopes 
of life to leape into a newe occupation ; and these men, renouncing all 
possibilities of credite or estimation, to intermeddle with Italian 
Translations'. Now Spenser's Kid was lost by his naivety, in being 
attracted by the glass which the disguised Fox showed him, and by 
his curiosity in reaching into the Fox's basket to take up a bell: the 
Fox swept him into his basket, and farewell Kid. Oesterberg says 
that there is no real parallel between Spenser's fable and the fate of 
the dramatists : Spenser's Kid does not 'forsake all hopes of life to 
leap into a new occupation' ; in order to show that Thomas Kyd was 
one of the dramatists who gave up a barren profession and hopefully 
but fatally resorted to another, Nashe made use of an inappropriate 
fable to bring in the name 'Kid'. 

I confess I find the argument most unconvincing. That Nashe is 
writing rapidly and carelessly is clear from his mistaken attribution 
of the fable to Aesop. He wanted a derogatory image for those who are 
attracted by some new gewgaw which proves fatal: the dramatists 
were attracted by Italian translations, the Kid by the glass and bell. 
That is the essential parallelism; the fact that the dramatists con- 
sciously change their lives and that the Kid does not seems to me to 
be of no significance. In any case, in E. K.'s gloss on Spenser's fable, 
the Kid resembles those who are attracted by *the reliques and ragges 

o 139 


of popish superstition', and are therefore damned for their weak- 
minded deviation; the Kid may well be said (allegorically speaking) 
to leap into a new occupation. It seems impossible to prove an allu- 
sion to Kyd from the weakness of the analogy between the Kid and 
the dramatists. Nashe may have had Kyd in mind as one of his 
dramatists, but the reference to the 'Kid in Aesop' does not prove it. 


Kyd and Tamburlaine, Part 2 

There is an interesting 'image-growth' in Kyd which suggests the 
possibility that when writing The Spanish Tragedy he had in mind 
Tamburlaine, Part 2 ( ?is88; published 1590), The Spanish Tragedy, 
I. ii. 52-61, gives a lurid description of a battlefield: 
Now while Bellona rageth here and there, 
Thick storms of bullets rain like winter's hail. 
And shiver' d lances dark the troubled air. 

On every side drop captains to the ground, 
And soldiers, some ill-maim'd, some slain outright : 
Here falls a body scinder'd from his head, 
There legs and arms lie bleeding on the grass, 
Mingled with weapons and unbowell'd steeds. 
Kyd took most of his suggestions from Garnier's Cornilie, and the 
third line is a conflation of two images in Gamier, one concerning 
splintered lances flying in the air like straw, and the other concerning 
the air being darkened and the sun paled by the dust of the battle 
(v. 136-40, 149-50). When Kyd later translated the whole ofCornelie, 
he recalled his previous image and, ignoring Garnier's straw, again 
suggested the impeded light: 

The shyuered Launces (ratling in the ayre) 
Fly forth as thicke as moates about the Sunne. 

(Cornelia, v. 170-1) 

But in this transformed image of motes about the sun, Kyd has also 
been directly aided by a recollection of a passage in 2 Tamburlaine, 
which also speaks in lurid terms of dismembered corpses on a battle- 

Hast thou beheld a peale of ordinance strike 
A ring of pikes, mingled with shot and horse, 
Whose shattered lims, being tost as high as heauen, 
Hang in the aire as thick as sunny motes. . . ? (ill. ii) 
The question is, did Kyd know this passage when (with the help of 
Gamier) he was describing the battle in The Spanish Tragedy ? It is 



certainly possible, for it looks as though the phrase in the second line 
of the Marlowe extract, 'mingled with shot and horse', has become 
(with the metonymy metabolized) Kyd's 'mingled with weapons and 
unbowelTd steeds' (last line of the Kyd extract). In using Garnier 
twice, in The Spanish Tragedy and in Cornelia) it is possible that on 
each occasion Kyd recalled a different part of a passage with the same 
theme from 2 Tamburlaine. There are few other parallels with the 
play, but Kyd may be echoing one of Marlowe's uses of his favourite 
word 'glut' in 'Hath here been glutted with thy harmless blood* 
(ii. v. 20), to be compared with 'We all are glutted with the Christian's 
blood' (2 Tamburlaine , I. D. 


Watson's Elegy on Walsingham 

There are some verbal resemblances between The Spanish Tragedy 
and an elegy on Walsingham which Thomas Watson published in 
1590, an English rendering of his own Latin elegy Melibceus, pub- 
lished in the same year. Walsingham died on 6 April 1590. The re- 
semblances are as follows (quotations from Arber's reprint, modern- 
(a) Watson: 

Stout Astrophel, incensed with sole remorse, 

Resolv'd to die, or see the slaughter ceas'd. 
Kyd(i. iv. 27-8): 

Then, though too late, incens'd with just remorse, 
I with my band set forth against the prince. 
(6) Watson: 

Help to lament great Meliboeus* death: 
Let clouds of tears with sighs be turn'd to rain. 
Kyd (n. v. 36 and 43-4) : 

Here Isabella, help me to lament 

O gush out, tears, fountains and floods of tears. 
Blow, sighs, and raise an everlasting storm, 
(c) Watson: 

His faith hath fram'd his spirit holy wings 

To soar with Astrophel above the sun, 
And there he joys. . . 

[5 lines] 

Our Meliboeus lives where Seraphins 

Do praise the highest in their glorious flames, 
Where flows the knowledge of wise Cherubins. . . 

[33 lines] 
Singing sweet hymns for him whose soul is blest. 

[21 lines] 
Diana, wondrous mirror of our days. . . 



Kyd(m. viii. 15-22): 

My soul hath silver wings 
That mounts me up unto the highest heavens, 
To heaven, ay, there sits my Horatio, 
Back'd with a troop of fiery cherubins, 
Dancing about his newly-healed wounds, 
Singing sweet hymns and chanting heavenly notes, 
Rare harmony to greet his innocence, 
That died, ay, died, a mirror in our days. 

Except for (<z), the ideas and phrases shared by the two writers are not 
in the least uncommon, but the similarity seems more than accidental. 
If there is a dependence, it seems to be of Kyd on Watson, because 
(i) Watson is translating (though not word for word) from his own 
Latin, (ii) it is more likely in (c) that a borrower should compress an 
extended fancy, and bring in adjacent phrases, than that he should 
dilate, and (iii) the mythology of Isabella's speech in (c) is somewhat 
out of keeping with the Virgilian mythology of the rest of the play 
(though it is not unique, see p. lix). 


Marston's Parodies of the Tainter Scene 5 

(See p. Ixv) 

There are three parallels, the chief one being in Act V, Scene i of 
Antonio and Mellida. Balurdo talks with a Painter and the conversa- 
tion includes such remarks as: 'I wold haue you paint mee, for my 
deuice, a good fat legge of ewe mutton, swimming in stewde broth of 
plummes . . . and the word shall be; Holde my dishe, whilst I spill my 
pottage. 9 'Can you paint me a driueling reeling song, & let the word 

be, Vh It can not be done sir, but by a seeming kinde of 

drunkennesse.' In the previous scene, Levin points out (see p. Ixii), 
Antonio's attempt to make his page express his grief by singing is 
like Hieronimo's attempt to make Bazardo express his grief by paint- 
ing; for example: 

speake, groning like a bell, 
That towles departing soules. 
Breath me a point that may inforce me weepe, 
To wring my hands, to breake my cursed breast, 
Raue, and exclaime, lie groueling on the earth, 
Straight start vp frantick. . . 

For looke thee boy, my griefe that hath no end. , . 

Finally, in Antonio's Revenge, iv. i, there is a parallel with the lines in 
the Third Addition which run 

And there is Nemesis and Furies 
And things call'd whips. (11. 41-2) 

Alberto is speaking: 

I, I am gone; but marke, Piero, this. 
There is a thing cald scourging Nemesis. 



The King's Men and The Spanish Tragedy 

There are some perplexing references to The Spanish Tragedy which 
raise the question whether the Admiral's Men maintained what 
would appear to be their original right in the play. First, there are two 
references to Richard Burbage, pillar of the Chambcrlain's-King's 
Men, playing Hieronimo. One of these may perhaps be discounted: 
it is in the second Return from Parnassus and Burbage is instructing 
the young Studioso in acting (Three Parnassus Plays, ed. Leishman, 
p. 341): 

I thinke your voice would serue for Hieronimo, obscruc how I act it 

and then imitate mee : 

Who calls leronimo from his naked bedd ? 

Considering the authors' scorn for the public theatre and its ways 
(see Leishman, pp. 59-60), it is hardly likely that they would care 
whether Hieronimo was really one of Burbage's parts or not. The 
second reference is in one of the elegies on Burbage's death. 1 

No more young Hamlett, ould Heironymoe 
Kind Leer, the Greued Moore, and more beside, 
That liued in him; have now for ever dy'de. 

These lines are not found in one of the manuscript versions of the 
elegy; another, longer, version is recognized as spurious. Burbage 
could hardly have acted the plum part of Hieronimo when, as a youth, 
he was associated with the Strange' s- Admiral's company (Nungezer, 
p. 68); the other plays mentioned, it is worth noticing, are all post- 
1600. It is a problem to think that Burbage had a name for acting the 
chief part in a play which did not belong to his company. But what 
significance is to be attached to Webster's Induction (1604) to 
Mars ton's Malcontent, which implies that Jeronimo was a King's 
Men's play that had been filched from the company by the Children 
of the Queen's Revels ? Cundale is explaining how the King's Men 
come to be acting a play belonging to the children : 

1 Shakespeare Allusion Book, I, 272-3 ; Nungezer, Dictionary of Actors, 
p. 74; Fliz. Stage, u, 309. 



Sly. I wonder you would play it, another company having interest 

Cundale. Why not Malevole in folio with us, as Jeronimo in Decimo 

sexto with them ? They taught us a name for our play, wee call 

it One for another. 

The reference to 'folio' and 'decimo sexto' is of course to the size of 
the actors. F. L. Lucas's gloss (Webster, Works, in, 307) runs, 'Why 
should not our men's company retaliate, by acting The Malcontent, 
for the pirating by the Children's company at Blackfriars of our 
Jeronimo ?' 

The usual explanation is that the Jeronimo play is The First Part of 
Jeronimo (see Appendix A). But that play seems to be a children's 
play to begin with 3 and we can hardly imagine Burbage winning fame 
from acting the little Hieronimo 'As short my body, short shall be 
my stay' (i. iii. 103). On the other hand, there could not possibly be 
any righteous indignation among the King's Men at the theft from 
them of The Spanish Tragedy, since it did not belong to them in the 
first place. The only solution seems to be that the play mentioned by 
Webster is the First Part, that it was adapted by the Children, when 
they 'borrowed' it, into the form which we know, and that the refer- 
ences to Burbage as acting the great Hieronimo are mistakes. 

Glossarial Index to the Commentary 

This index lists words, phrases, names, tags, and selected proverbs which 
have required elucidation in the Commentary. It is neither a concordance 
nor a complete list of annotations. Words are normally cited in simple form 
(i.e., nouns in the singular, verbs in the infinitive), whatever the form in the 
text. When more than one line-reference is given, the word has been used 
in more than one sense. An asterisk before a word or a reference indicates 
that the meaning is not covered, or is only partly covered, by O.E.D., or 
that a date given by O.E.D. is corrected. 

Accident, ill. vii. 54 

action of the case, in. xiii. 61 

advantage, in. xiii. 27-8, *m. xiv. 


Aeacus, I. i. 33 
aglet, Add. 4, 36 
Alcides, m. xiii. in 
ambages, i. iv. 90 
and if, in. iv. 73 
apply, iv. i. 32 

me to the time, in. ix. 13 

approve, in. vi. 39 
arbour, n. iv. 53 
Ariadne, in. x. 89-90 
*assure, Add. I, 13 
avail, sb., iv. i. 47 

Back, give, n. iii. 50 
ballace, Add. 3, 7 
ban, v b, in. vii. 65 
band, in. xiii. 66 
banquet, sb., I. iv. 115.1 
battle, sb.> I. ii. 32 
*bear it out, iv. i. 24 
beauty's thrall, n. i. 27 
bend, vb, in. ix. 6 
beside, sit, I. ii. 177 
bewray, I. iii. 54 
bower, n. iv. 53 
brake, Add. 4, 18 

* bring, be with thee to, in. xii. 22 

bug, iv. v. 28 

burn daylight, Add. 4, 30 

Camp, sb., i. ii. I 
can, vb, in. xiii. 118 
care, sb., iv. i. 39 
case, if, n. i. 58 
cast, vb, in. ii. 100 
censure, sb., 1. ii. 175 
centre of the earth, in. i. 23 
chivalry, i. ii. 21 
che le leron, ill. ii. 94 
circumstance, in. ii. 48 
cite, iv. ii. 27 
closely, in. iv. 62 
coil, keep a, in. xiii. 45 
colonel, I. ii. 40 
colour, vb y ill. i. 20 

s of device, I. ii. 27 

commend, sb., ill. i. 68 
companion, in. ii. 115 
complot, in. ii. 100 
conceit, sb., i. iv. 82 

, vb, iv. i. 134 

condescent, in. xiv. 17 
condition, m. ii. 74 
control, vbj i. ii. 139, n. iv. 7 
convenient speed, ii. iii. 38 
conveyance, n. i. 47 




cornet, I. ii. 41 
corregidor, in. xiii. 58 
Corsic rocks, in. xiii. 72 
corsive, I. ii. 143 
cothurnata, IV. i. 160 
countermure, in. vii. 16 
course, words of, I. iv. 98 

of waves, in. xiii. 102-7 

coy, adj., ii. i. i 

it, n. iii. 3 

cross, sb., u. i. 87 

Dag, in. iii. 32 
demean, in. xii. 84 
deprive of life, I. i. 89 
Deputy, in. vi. o.i 
determine, in. x. 44-5 
device, sb., I. ii. 27, 1. iv. 99 
dew him with my tears, I. iv. 36 
die, n. iv. 48 
ding, vb, i. iv. 22 
disparagement, in. x. 36-8 
distain, I. iii. 33 
doom, vb, i. i. 53 

, sb., I. i. 79 

downfall, i. i. 64 
draw forth, i. i. 36 
drift, sb., iv. i. 32 
drum, sb., i. iv. 137.1 

Ecstasy, n. i. 29 

Edmund Langley, see York 

eject ione firmae, ill. xiii. 62 

elm, n. iv. 45 

Elysian green, I. i. 73 

empyreal, in. vii. 15 

end is crown of every work . . . , the, 

ii. vi. 8 

enlarge, I. iv. 84 
entrance, in. i. 61 
entreat, I. iv. 116 
envious, I. iii. 93 
Erichtho, in. xv. i 
estate, in. x. 44-5 
exasperate, ill. iv. 31 
exempt, vb, III. xii. 101 
experience, sb., iv. i. 89 
extreme, sb., in. xiii. 27 
extremity, in. xiv. 37 

Fabulously, iv. iv. 77 
fact, in. iv. 24 
fashion's sake, for, iv. i. 24 
fatch, in. iv. 46 
fauchion, iv. i. 145 
fault, ii. i. 12, in. ii. in 
favour, sb., ill. xiii. 151 
fear, vb, ill. ii. 18 
feature, sb., n. i. 13 
fee, vb, in. iv. 81 
feign, in. vii. 50-1 
*fit, vb, iv. i. 70 
fond, n. ii. 23 
for, in. xiv. 81 

once, ii. i. 37 

forgery, I. iii. 72 
forth, ill. x. 59 
Fortune, I. iii. 29 
frolic, vb, I. ii. 96 
front, in. x. 91 

Gage, sb., to, I. iv. 85 
gallery, IV. iii. 12-13 
gates of horn, I. i. 82 
Gaunt, John of, I. iv. 140-57 
gear, in. vi. 23, in. vi. 32 
gird, see through-gird 
*give back, ii. iii. 50 

* place, in. x. 72 

glasses of his sight, n. v. 49 
Gloucester, Robert, Earl of, I. iv. 


go by, in. xii. 31 
grace, vb, i. iv. 125, 1. iv. 137, iv. i. 


*greet, in. viii. 21 
ground, vb, in. xv. 18 
guerdon, vb, i. iii. 55 

Haggard, n. i. 4 

halbert, in. i. 30.1 

handy, I. ii. 47 

hangman (granted victim's clothes), 

ill. vi. 45 

hap, vb, ill. xii. 83 
happily, n. ii. 48 
hardly, iv. i. 181 
shall deny, in. iv. 35 


hare, there goes the 

xii. 24 
hares may pull dead lions by the 

beard, I. ii. 172 
haul, iv. iv. 213 
heat, sb.) in. i. 4 
Hecate, Add. 4, 33 
help, see holp 
*herc-hence, i. ii. 70 
hold, iv. iv. 153 
holp, ill. iv. 45 
homely, in. xiv. 151 
hugy, in. xi. 21 
humorous, I. iv. 105 
humour, sb.> ill. viii. 13 

If case, n. i. 58 

ill another must expulse, one, ill. 

ii. 107 

imperial, ill. vii. 15 
incertain to effect, in. x. 109 
inexecrable, in. xii. 46 
inexplicable, in. xii. 46 
instance, iv. iv. 87 
insult, vb, i. ii. 73 
intercept, in. vi. 94, in. xiv. 50, in. 

xiv. 133 
inure, iv. v. 18 

Jar, vb y Add. 4, 150 

jealious, n. ii. 56 

jest, sb.) i. iv. 137 

John of Gaunt, see Gaunt 

Judas his own colour, Add. 4, 137 

jutty, vb, Add. 4, 138 

Kind, as becomes her, n. iii. 3 
kindness, in, in. i. 80 
kindship, in. xiii. 24 
Knight Marshal, i. i. 25 
knock up, iv. iii. o.i 

Lancier, I. ii. 65 

largess, I. ii. 131 

leaves of lottery, graven, I. i. 36 

leese, n. v. 29 

let me alone, in. ii. 88 

liberal, in. xiv. 74 

lime, vby n. i. 126 

away, in. lion (skin as a garment)) I. ii. 172 

-, hares may pull dead s by 

the beard, I. ii. 172 
list, vb, in. iv. 82 
lord, stand good, in. iv. 56 
lottery, I. i. 36 
love resisted grows impatient, n. i. 


Luigi, St, in. ii. 83 
lure, stoop to, n. i. 4 

Malice, vb, ill. i. 52 

malign, in. ii. 34 

march in a net, iv. iv. 1 18 

marsh, make mountains, in. vii. 8 

marshal-sessions, m. iv. 36 

Marsyas, n. i. 16 

martialist, I. i. 46 

*matted, Add. 4, 119 

mean, adj.) in. i. 98 

, sb.y in. xiii. 23 

meed, in. i. 53 

Minos, I. i. 33 

mirror, sb., ill. viii. 22 

misconster, in. xiv. 92 

mistrust, vb, ill. iv. 3 

moiety, ii. iii. 16 

*mood, in. xv. 20 

*motion, sb., iv. i. 66 

mount, vb) ill. ii. 93 

mountains marsh, make, in. vii. 8 

murder cannot be hid, n. v. 57 

mystery, *i. i. 90; I. iv. 139 

Naked bed, n. v. i 

net, march in a, iv. iv. 118 

next, in. xi. 4 

nightingale . . . singing with prickle 

at her breast, n. ii. 50 
notice, sb.> ill. ix. 3 
nunc iners cadat rnanus, Add. 5, 47 

Of, i. iv. 174.1 

once, for, n. i. 37 

outrage, sb. } n. v. 45, in. xii. 79 

Pan, n. i. 16 
passenger, iv. ii. 20 



paunch, vby I. iv. 22 
pha!, in. xiv. 167 
pike, push of, I. ii. 34 
pitch, vby II. iii. 37 
place, give, HI. x. 72 
plain, v by ill. vii. 69 
plausible, iv. i. 85 
pleasure follows pain, 11. ii. 11 
pocas palabrasy in. xiv. 118 
pompous, I. iv. 137 
poniard, in. xii. o.i 
Portingale, I. i. 15 
practice, ii. v. 62 
pretence, ill. iv. 83 
prevalence, in. xv. 14 
prevent, in. iv. 2 
prick, vby i. ii. 76 
priest, be his, in. iii. 37 
prime, I. i. 8 

privilege, upon our, I. ii. 159 
push of pike, i. ii. 34 

Quill, n. i. 1 6 
quital, in. i. 79 

Rampier, i. ii. 50 

reaching, in. iv. 46 

reave, Add. 4, 105 

record, vby n. iv. 28 

recure, in. viii. 5 

regard, vby in. vi. 13 

remorse, i. iv. 27 

rent, vby in. xiii. 122 

revenge, vby n. v. 54 

Rhadamanth, i. i. 33 

rip the bowels of the earth, in. xii. 


rolling stone (Fortune), i. iii. 29 
round, vby I. i. 81 
roundly, iv. i. 108 

Said, well, iv. iv. 68 
salve, vb, in. x. 19 
scinder, i. ii. 59 
secret, in. iv. 64 
secretary, in. ii. 12 
secure, adj.. Add. 5, 7 
seld, in. xii. 3 
sequester, in. ix. 2 

shift, let me, in. iii. 4 
shot, sb.y I. ii. 33 
silly, in. xiii. 67 
*sit beside, i. ii. 177 
sith, in. i. ii 
slander, vb, ii. i. 20 
smooth, vby n. i. 127 
soothe, in. x. 19 

up, iv. i. 192 

sort, sb.y in. xiii. 46 

, vby iv. iv. 103 

spark of life, n. v. 17 
spring-tides of my tears, in. v>ii. 8 
sprite, Add. 4, 22 
squadron form, I. ii. 32 
stand good lord, in. iv. 56 

on terms, ill. x. 20 

stoop to lure, n. i. 4 
strond, I. i. 28 
sufferance, ii. i. 8 
suggestion, HI. i. 46 
surcease, V6, iv. v. 34 
surprise, vby III. x. 89-90 
suspect, sb.y in. iii. 15 

Tarn armis quam ingeniOy II. i. 107 

tender, vb, iv. i. 20 

Terceira's lord, I. iii. 82 

things call'd whips, Add. 3, 42 

this (for these), n. v. 22 

through-gird, iv. iv. 112 

tickle, adj., in. iv. 78 

title, iv. iii. 17 

toy, sb.y in. xii. 4 

tragedia cothurnatdy IV. i. 1 60 

train, sb.y in. i. 19, in. ii. 38, *iv. v. 


traveller, n. ii. 46 
treasure, sb.y I. iii. 35 
trice, with a, Add. 4, 153 
trudge, in. xii. 6 
truss, sb. and vb, in. vi. 70 
tucket, i. ii. 99 
turn off, in. iv. 69 
twine, sb.y in. x. 89-90 

Unbowell'd, I. ii. 61 
unkindly, in. iii. 39 
unless, in. x. 36-8 

INDEX 153 

unmanur'd, iv. ii. 16 well said, iv. iv. 68 

uphold, in. xi. 18 when!, HI. i. 47 

whenas, ill. xiii. 102-7 

Vien qui presto, II. i. 41 whether, i. ii. 160 

vindicta mihi, III. xiii. I whilom, II. v. 15 

vine, ii. iv. 45 whips, things calFd, Add. 3, 42 

whipstalk, in. viii. ii 

Wage, $b., 1. ii. 20 will, s&., II. iii. 42 

wan (past of win), I. ii. 164 win, see wan 

*wane, vb, I. ii. 83 words of course, I. iv. 98 

watch and ward, in. iii. 20 works, words have several, in. i. 17 
*wave, vb y I. ii. 83 

*we: ve, Add. 4, 153 York, Edmund Langley, Duke of, 
weld, I. iv. 35 I. iv. 140-7